A: An amputation is one of the most serious injuries at work that can affect you. Losing a limb is a life changing event and can cause long lasting disability and pain. If this has happened, you will likely want to file a workers’ compensation claim to get help for medical bills and other expenses.
However, since an amputation is a serious situation, there are certain procedures and rules that will apply.
If you lost significant use of more than one extremity, then you may qualify for benefits for the rest of your life.
Most injured workers’ benefits are limited to a total of 500 weeks, including both lost wages and loss of use. If you are never able to work, you will only receive 500 weeks of compensation. However, if you are able to return to work in some capacity, once you return to work, you will then be entitled to an additional period of benefits according to the following list:
- Arm – 200 weeks of compensation;
- Leg – 175 weeks of compensation;
- Hand – 150 weeks of compensation;
- Foot – 125 weeks of compensation;
- Thumb – 60 weeks of compensation; and
- Index (First) finger – 46 weeks of compensation
- Middle (Second) finger – 30 weeks of compensation
- Ring (Third) finger- 20 weeks of compensation
- Little (Fourth) Finger= 15 weeks
- Great toe- 30 weeks of compensation
- Any other toe- 10 weeks of compensation
While the benefits and payment may be conditional, you still want to protect these benefits by filing a claim for benefits when your doctor has said you are at maximum medical improvement and has given you an impairment rating to your partial or total loss of your limb. In Virginia, there are no benefits for loss of use for your neck or back. There is also no such thing as compensation for a “whole body” impairment rating.