Sometimes being injured on the job means a simple trip to the doctor’s office and a day or two off work. However, sometimes an on-the-job injury is more severe, necessitating extensive medical treatment or even round-the-clock care. In these situations an employee may be prevented from working altogether, leading them to wonder what workers’ compensation benefits are available in Virginia.
First of all, there are wage replacement benefits. If an employee’s injury or illness temporarily prevents them from working, these benefits will generally cover two-thirds of the individual’s average gross wages per week. However, the individual must be disabled for at least seven days before he or she can begin receiving these benefits. In addition, there are time limits on how long an individual can receive wage replacement benefits, and the benefits may be reduced if the individual can perform a light duty job.
Another benefit is lifetime medical benefits. These benefits will continue for as long as necessary, so long as the individual has timely filed a claim. The worker can choose a physician from a panel provided by their employer. Benefits may be suspended if the employee does not comply with the required medical treatment.
In addition, permanent partial impairment benefits may be available to a worker who has permanently lost the use of a part of their body (although not the body as a whole.) Permanent and total disability benefits may be available if the worker loses certain body parts in a single incident or suffers a severe brain injury resulting in paralysis.
Other benefits that may be available include death benefits to a surviving spouse or minor children. Cost of living increases to the benefits may be available under certain circumstances. Finally, some individuals will qualify for vocational rehabilitation benefits.
Each injured worker’s case is unique. Individuals in need of workers’ compensation benefits may want to seek legal advice about the benefits they are entitled to.