If you have been reading through my website you probably already know that Temporary Total Disability benefits (TTD) will only last for a period of 500 weeks (or about 9.5 years). In most cases, this 500 week window is sufficient time for injured workers to recover from their injuries and return to some form of employment. However, what happens when an injured worker has collected their 500 weeks of wages but their doctor sill is not able to release them to any form of work? How do you survive once that weekly check has been terminated?
In this scenario, don’t mess around – you need the help of an experienced attorney and fast! For injured workers who still can’t return to any type of work after their 500 weeks have been exhausted, there is the possibility of receiving Permanent Total Disability benefits (PTD). Permanent Total Disability benefits are just that, a weekly check for life to compensate for the person’s inability to return to the work force. PTD benefits are not easy to get and Virginia has a very specific set of requirements in order to qualify for this type of compensation. I ALWAYS recommend getting an attorney on your side because if you go to a hearing and lose, it will be VERY difficult, if not impossible, to hire an attorney to assist you after this point.
The road to getting PTD benefits can be long and difficult so do yourself a favor and don’t delay. Get someone on your side who knows the law and has dealt with this before. I have assisted many of my clients in obtaining Permanent Total Disability benefits after a serious injury has prevented them from re-joining the work force.
If you are close to exhausting your 500 weeks of wages or if you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order my book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia,” or call our office today (804) 755-7755.
Michele Lewane, Esq.