Q: Should I File a Claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission If My Employer’s Insurance Is Paying for My Doctor?
A: Listen up folks! There is a huge difference between filing a workers’ compensation claim with the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission and your employer’s insurance company. Many injured workers do not realize this and may miss out on other benefits they are entitled to if they do not file a claim with the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission. Here is a list of some of the benefits you could lose out on if you don’t file your claim with the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission – even if your employer’s insurance is paying for your doctor:
- Lifetime Medical Benefits – this is only available to injured workers who formally file their claim with the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission and request an Award for Lifetime Medical Benefits. Otherwise, the employer’s insurance carrier could decline paying for treatment after just 2 years!
- Late Payment Penalties – if you have an Award for weekly lost wage payments, the employers insurance carrier is obligated to pay you in a timely manner. However, if you do not have an award and the insurance carrier is paying your weekly check on a voluntary basis, they can pretty much pay you whenever they get around to it.
- Hearings – if you have filed the claim with the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission and have an Award, a hearing can be scheduled for your claim in the event of a dispute of treatment or wages with the insurance carrier Asap. If you don’t file the claim with the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission, what the carrier says goes and you will have to wait months for a hearing!
- Mileage Reimbursements– if the carrier is paying for your medical care, you are entitled to a reimbursement for your travel expenses. However, this is something that the carrier may or may not pay on a voluntary basis; you need to have an Award for Lifetime Medical Benefits to obligate the carrier to reimburse you for this. If you need the forms to request a mileage reimbursement, contact my office and my staff will be happy to provide these forms to you.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits – if you have permanent limitations or even scarring as a result of your workplace accident, you may be entitled to payment for your loss of use or disfigurement.
And, depending on your situation, there could even be other benefits you miss out on if you don’t file your claim with the Commission! Filing your claim with the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission is FREE! If you need guidance on how to do this, contact my office and my trained staff can point you in the right direction.
About the Author: Michele Lewane
The Injured Workers Law Firm is a Richmond, Virginia based firm solely focused on serving clients with workers' compensation claims in Virginia. If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” , or call our office today (804) 755-7755.