Whether you work in an office, in a laboratory, or a construction site, injuries on the job occur. When they do, they can disrupt your work and your life. Depending on how serious the injury, you and your family could be substantially impacted years to come.
As a result, the State of Virginia has developed a system to protect workers and provide benefits to those who are injured, or to the families of those fatally injured, on the job. Those benefits are provided in accordance with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act. Specifically, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act is the law that lays out all of the rules and requirements for the payment of workers’ compensation benefits in the State. The Act, however, can be rather complicated.
Accordingly, if you have been injured on the job, or a loved one has suffered an injury that resulted in death, you need the help of a qualified Virginia workers’ compensation attorney to guide you through the process.
Our team at The Injured Workers Law Firm is here to help you. We are the experts in handling matters involving the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act, and we care deeply about getting our clients the benefits – and justice – they deserve. In order to maximize the workers’ compensation benefits owed to you, we welcome you to contact one of our legal professionals at The Injured Workers Law Firm by calling 804-755-7755, or filling out our online contact form. Contact us today. You will be glad you did.
What Types of Benefits Does Virginia’s Workers’ Compensation Provide?
Given that an on-the-job injury or occupational disease can result in the need for medical treatment, lost wages, and even death benefits, Virginia’s Workers’ Compensation Act provides for a variety of benefits. Those benefits include:
- Medical Benefits
- Payment for Lost Wages
- Compensation for Permanent Loss of body member, either total or partial
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Death Benefits
- Lifetime Disability Benefits
Each benefit is different, and you may or may not qualify for each type. However, the range of benefits is designed to cover all types of work injuries. We at The Injured Workers Law Firm have an in-depth understanding of all of the benefits above. To learn more about the various types of benefits, click here.
How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Benefits Pay?
The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act standardizes the benefits that are provided in Virginia. The law sets forth a maximum, and a minimum, that can be paid in benefits in order to give certainty to employees, employers, and insurance carriers.
With regard to the maximum you can get receive from workers’ compensation, the amount is either: (i) two-thirds of your pre-injury wage, or (ii) the maximum benefit for the year in which you were injured – whichever is lower.
So, assume you were injured and had to miss work for a period of time. Also, assume that you made an average of $900 per week. In that case, you would be entitled to a temporary total disability benefit of $600 per week, which is two-thirds of your pre-injury wage.
However, if you are a high-wage earner, then your benefits may hit a ceiling at the maximum weekly benefit under Virginia law. For example, the maximum weekly benefit under Virginia law was $1,043 per week in 2017. Therefore, if you were injured in the year 2017 and two-thirds of your average weekly wage was more than $1,043, you would only be entitled to receive the maximum ($1,043) per week under workers’ compensation.
As noted, Virginia law also establishes a minimum weekly compensation payment. To give you some context, in 2017, the law set the minimum weekly payment at $260.75; and in 2018, the minimum was $270.50. If you made $250.00 a week, then your benefits would not be reduced to two-thirds of your average weekly wage. You would receive $250.00 per week.
To maximize your weekly compensation benefit, you should be sure to include every type of income you normally receive from your job when making a claim. That could include overtime payments, bonuses, tips, commissions, and other fringe benefits. If you consult with The Injured Workers Law Firm, we will make sure that we include all the pre-injury income you typically receive in order to maximize your workers’ compensation benefits.
How Long Do the Benefits Last?
With regard to those with a temporary disability, the workers’ compensation benefits are paid until (i) the doctor releases you to your pre-injury work capabilities, (ii) the carrier finds you a job at your pre-injury wage or (iii) you have received 500 weeks of payment.
With regard to those on permanent total disability, if a doctor determines that you are permanently totally disabled (with conditions such as the loss of two limbs, paralysis, or brain injury), you will receive weekly payments for life.
Finally, with regard to permanent partial disability, if your physician finds that you have partially lost the use of a limb, then the benefit is paid at two-thirds your average weekly wage for the number of weeks determined by the Virginia state schedule. The number of weeks is related to the particular body part injured. Necks and backs are not covered. For example, if your doctor says that you have a 15% loss of use of your right arm since an arm is worth 200 weeks, then you would receive benefits for 30 weeks.
How Do I Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
To get workers’ compensation benefits, the key is to give proper notice. Specifically, you must give proper notice to:
- Your employer, and
- The State of Virginia by notifying the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission
The notice to your employer should include your contact information and specific information about the injury you suffered at work. This is important so your employer can begin its part of the workers’ compensation insurance process.
The written notice to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission should be through a claim. There is a Claim Form that needs to be filed with the Commission. This filing is vital so you do not lose your rights to your workers’ compensation benefits.
Does Workers’ Compensation cover all Richmond employees?
Workers’ Compensation laws are complicated and may vary from one state to the next. Fully understanding your rights as an employee may be difficult, which is why some choose to consult with a Richmond Workers’ Comp attorney.
One of the false assumptions made regarding Workers’ Compensation is that all workers are covered. Although this may depend on the state you in which you reside, the number of employees who work at a company may determine if Workers’ Comp is required.
In the state of Virginia, any employer who has three or more full- or part-time workers must provide Workers’ Compensation insurance. Companies who have less than three employees may voluntarily provide Workers’ Compensation.
Another factor that will impact whether compensation is mandatory is the type of business category a company falls under. Certain businesses may be excluded.
Certain types of workers may not qualify for Workers’ Compensation, including:
Workers’ Compensation laws are important and are meant to protect those who are eligible. Workers’ Comp laws began in the early part of the 20th century to improve safety standards, but also to provide medical coverage and other benefits. If your rights have been violated, you may wish to speak with an attorney.
Contact a Virginia Workers’ Compensation Attorney to Help
With specific filing forms and short deadlines, the best thing you can do to protect and maximize your workers’ compensation benefits after a work-related injury is to contact an experienced Virginia workers’ compensation attorney. We at The Injured Workers Law Firm are here to help you get the benefits to which you are entitled. We pride ourselves on providing top-notch representation for our clients. We will make the process easy and efficient for you, and we will fight to get you the best outcome. Call us today at 804-755-7755.