Skip to Main Content

Benefits for Subsequent Injuries

Subsequent Injury and Vocational Recovery Fund

This fund can subsidize benefits for permanently disabled workers who suffer a work-related injury on top of their pre-existing disability. If requested and eligible, this fund can pay a percentage of the workers’ permanent total disability (PTD) benefits, which are only awarded when the injury totally incapacitates the worker from earning an income from any job.

Hiring Previously Injured Employees

This fund is designed to encourage employers to hire and retain workers with existing handicaps or permanent disabilities.

Hiring workers with previous disabilities is not as risky as you might think. In the unfortunate event that a previously-injured worker sustains a subsequent injury while working, this fund can help offset the costs of permanent total disability (PTD) benefits that may be due under workers’ compensation law for that worker.

Requirements

  • Previously sustained a permanent physical disability
    • The employee must have previously sustained a permanent physical disability before being hired or retained by the current employer
    • The current employer must have known about disability.
  • Employer insurance coverage
    • The employer must have the required workers’ compensation insurance coverage
  • Suffer a second injury rendering the worker permanently and totally disabled
    • The employee must suffer a new work-related injury that renders the employee unable to return to any job in the open market.

How to Request Benefits from this Fund

Either the injured worker or employer may request assistance from the Subsequent Injury Fund by talking to an ombudsman at 800-332-2667 or with his or her assigned mediator. Verify that the SIF section of the PBD form is completed and sent to the SIF Director as instructed on the form.

In determining eligibility, the worker may be asked to provide proof of the previously sustained disability. This can be done in a number of different ways, such as prior medical records, depositions of doctors, or prior workers’ compensation settlements documentation.

Employer Remains Liable for Other Due Benefits

Other benefits may also be due to the injured worker, such as temporary disability benefits, medical expenses, and permanent benefits. If so, the employer or its insurance company of liability still remain liable for providing those other benefits that may be due to the injured worker.
 


Need More Help?

If you have additional questions, please call 615-532-4812 or 800-332-2667 or contact us by email at wc.info@tn.gov. Find out about other available assistance programs by contacting an ombudsman.