As some of you may already know, I am a member of a national workers’ compensation organization called WILG (Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group). I read a very interesting article the other day published by the WILG Review highlighting a series of articles that were written by ProPublica and featured on NPR. This series focused on the cuts made to workers’ compensation benefits for injured workers across the nation – scary stuff for anyone who works for a living!
The journalists who wrote these articles uncovered many of the twists and turns in the workers’ compensation world. Many of the workers’ compensation insurance companies claim that benefits to injured workers are reduced based on the rising cost of insurance coverage when, in fact, employers are paying the lowest workers’ compensation coverage rates since the 1970’s and insurance companies are reaping their highest profits in decades!
States are falling in line with this as well. The authors of these articles found that since 2003, 33 states have passed new laws reducing benefits to injured workers OR have passed laws making qualifying for workers’ compensation benefits more difficult. And, on an even scarier note, these journalists found that many injured workers’ benefits are terminated before they are able to re-enter the work force.
The insurance companies have covered their bases – 37 states (including Virginia!) will not allow injured workers to choose their own doctor. Instead, injured workers must choose from a restricted list of medical providers that the insurance company controls.
Click here to read the full series of articles
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.