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How to take advantage of the $120 million Return to Work Fund
When and Where?
Go online or to the WCAB to apply for the $5,000 from the Return to Work Fund. Have these ready:
- Claim Number
- DOI on or after 1-1-2013 (injuries prior to 2013 are not eligible)
Injured workers can apply for the $5,000 within 1 year from the date the original voucher was issued, OR within 1 year from the 4-13-2015, whichever is later.
What else do I need?
- The original voucher (must come from a voucher company)
- SSN or ITIN (use the ITIN if injured worker is undocumented)
- The application with page 6 signed* by the claims adjuster
* Faxed signature or emailed is acceptable; does not need to be wet signature. Note, page 6 is a critical component, but still, we see adjusters who just won't sign it, which delays the process of obtaining the $5,000 from the RTW fund. If a back-and-forth delay caused by the adjuster refusing to sign page 6, applicant attorney can do the follow up work and Petition for costs under CAL. LAB CODE 5814.5-6
How soon will the injured worker receive the funds?
Pretty quickly! The standard is 60 days for the DWC to determine eligibility once an application is submitted; within 2 weeks the client will receive an answer or receive their money from the Return to Work fund.
What can the injured worker use the money for?
Anything! Books, education, training, clothes for interviews, new computer, etc. There are no restrictions and the income is not taxable. The funds do not have to be used for rehabilitative services in any way.
What should I tell a worried claims adjuster?
The moneys are not coming from the insurance money or settlement. Funds come from an entirely separate reservoir of money called the Return to Work Fund - encourage claims adjusters to stop worrying and just sign page 6.
For more about Gemini and other practical tips: