Yes! Even if your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, you can still get benefits through the Uninsured Employer’s Fund.
What is the Uninsured Employer’s Fund?
The Uninsured Employer’s Fund was created to provide benefits to employees injured on the job while working for an uninsured employer.
The Good News:
The purpose of the Uninsured Employer’s Fund is to pay the injured worker the same benefits the worker would have received had the employer been covered with workers’ compensation insurance.
The Not So Good News:
Just like insured claims, the burden of proof is on the injured worker. BUT, The Uninsured Employer’s Fund does not automatically award benefits to workers who are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance. The injured worker will have to file a Claim Form with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission and wait for a hearing to be scheduled so they can present his or her case before a Deputy Commissioner. The Deputy Commissioner will weigh the evidence and make a ruling as to whether or not the injured worker is entitled to benefits. In the meantime, the injured worker is left to his or her own devices to get medical treatment and the daunting possibility that they could be out of work without pay until they are able to present their case to the Commission.
Obviously, this can be a very stressful situation for injured workers and their families. I’m not trying to scare you but if you were injured while working for an uninsured employer, you need to know what lays ahead.
If you were injured by an uninsured employer, my office can offer you guidance and information that you may not find someplace else. If you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order my free book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia,” or call our office today (804) 755-7755.
Michele Lewane, Esq.