(a) This section shall apply to injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2004, and before January 1, 2013.
(b) Except as provided in Section 4658.6, if the injury causes permanent partial disability and the injured employee does not return to work for the employer within 60 days of the termination of temporary disability, the injured employee shall be eligible for a supplemental job displacement benefit in the form of a nontransferable voucher for education-related retraining or skill enhancement, or both, at state-approved or accredited schools, as follows:
(1) Up to four thousand dollars ($4,000) for permanent partial disability awards of less than 15 percent.
(2) Up to six thousand dollars ($6,000) for permanent partial disability awards between 15 and 25 percent.
(3) Up to eight thousand dollars ($8,000) for permanent partial disability awards between 26 and 49 percent.
(4) Up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for permanent partial disability awards between 50 and 99 percent.
(c) The voucher may be used for payment of tuition, fees, books, and other expenses required by the school for retraining or skill enhancement. No more than 10 percent of the voucher moneys may be used for vocational or return-to-work counseling. The administrative director shall adopt regulations governing the form of payment, direct reimbursement to the injured employee upon presentation to the employer of appropriate documentation and receipts, and other matters necessary to the proper administration of the supplemental job displacement benefit.
(d) A voucher issued on or after January 1, 2013, shall expire two years after the date the voucher is furnished to the employee or five years after the date of injury, whichever is later. The employee shall not be entitled to payment or reimbursement of any expenses that have not been incurred and submitted with appropriate documentation to the employer prior to the expiration date.
(e) An employer shall not be liable for compensation for injuries incurred by the employee while utilizing the voucher.
(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 363, Sec. 56.)