What is SIBTF?

What happens if a Workers’ Compensation injury results in more injuries?

The legal profession is full of acronyms no one would remember if they didn’t work in the field. SIBTF stands for Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund, and it’s an important component of worker benefits in California. The SIBTF is an additional source of compensation to injured workers who already had a disability or impairment when their injury occurred.

This fund is not available to everyone who is injured on the job. The State of California Department of Industrial Relations dictates that the fund is available to workers if the combined effects of the workplace injury and previous disability result in a permanent disability of 70 percent or more. This is a fund to allow and encourage employers to hire workers with disabilities, as well as allay fears of being held liable for the effects of previous disabilities or impairments.

California Labor Code states the following requirements must be met to qualify for the SIBTF:

  • The worker must have a pre-existing disability.
  • The injury incurred on the job must have increased the disability by 35 percent or more.
  • OR the increased disability must be 5 percent or more when the pre-existing disability is to say an opposite eye or limb of the original pre-existing disability.
  • The combination of the pre-existing disability and the on-the-job permanent partial disability (PPD) must add up to a disability of 70% more.

In a previous blog, we discussed QMEs (Qualified Medical Evaluators). SIBTF evaluations are not part of the traditional QME evaluation, so it’s important to get the thorough medical evaluation needed before applying for benefits.

This is a complicated process and can be confusing. The requirements are specific but can be difficult to navigate. If you or someone you know may need this benefit, you’ll want to have a thorough medical consultation, and you can always contact us with legal questions.

Social Media Post: The SIBTF is a fund available to a subset of injured workers under California law. Read our latest blog to learn more.