Virginia Worker’s Compensation Wage Replacement Benefit Attorneys
Have you suffered a work-related injury or illness? Workers’ compensation covers not only the cost of your medical expenses, it also provides compensation for lost wages when you miss work to recover from your injuries. Since everyone counts on their income to cover living expenses, these wage replacement benefits are vital to helping prevent financial hardship.
You are eligible for wage replacement after you miss a few days of work due to your work-related injury or illness. The calculation of wage loss benefits in Virginia is determined by the state and based on the average weekly wage you earned prior to the injury or illness occurring. The amount you receive is either two-thirds of this wage or a maximum dollar amount that the state sets. You will receive whichever is lower. Do keep in mind that although you are only receiving two-thirds of your pay, the money is not taxed.
Does this all sound complicated? You don’t have to navigate it on your own. The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO know how to get you the wage replacement benefits you deserve.
Categories of Disability Wage Replacement Benefits
Wage loss compensation is not paid until seven calendar days of incapacity have been reached. If your inability to work extends beyond seven days, compensation begins the eighth day of disability. If you are unable to work for more than 21 days, then those first seven days you missed work will also be eligible for compensation. Your wage replacement benefits will fall under one of the following categories of disability:
Temporary Total Disability
If you are told by a doctor that you cannot work due to a work-related injury or illness, you may be entitled to compensation based on your earnings for the 52 weeks prior to the injury in the amount of 66.67% (two-thirds) of your regular wages, as long as it does not exceed the set maximum reimbursement dollar amount.
Temporary Partial Disability
If your doctor says that you can return to work but with restrictions, you may be entitled to receive temporary partial disability to make up for any diminished earnings due to your restricted work status.
Permanent Partial Disability
If you get to the point where your doctor says that your injury is at its maximum medical improvement status and your condition is not expected to improve significantly, there is the option for an impairment rating evaluation. If you are given a permanent impairment rating of more than 0%, you may be entitled to compensation.
Permanent Total Disability
If your injuries are severe enough that you are permanently unable to work, you may be eligible to receive permanent total disability benefits. These benefits are also paid at two-thirds of your pre-injury earnings, and you may receive them for the rest of your life.
Additional Types of Wage Replacement Benefits
Provisions are also made under worker’s compensation to accommodate the tragic case of a work-related death. These benefits are paid to a spouse and/or dependent children to cover funeral expenses and wage replacement:
- Up to $10,000 for burial expenses
- Up to $1,000 for reasonable transportation expenses
- Wage replacement compensation to dependents, according to Virginia Code §65.2-512.
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
Sometimes injuries can prevent people from performing the jobs they were doing when they obtained the injury. In many cases, a person can learn to do a new job that isn’t affected by their limitation and still be gainfully employed. Vocational rehabilitation is a set of services provided to individuals who have the ability and desire to learn a new type of work. These services include:
- Job search assistance
- On-the-job training
- Funds for education
- Assistance with preparing a resume and learning interviewing skills
If you choose to participate in vocational rehabilitation, your wage loss benefits will continue during this time.
Transportation and Mileage Cost Reimbursement
Transportation is one of the added costs of being injured at work. There are medical appointments to go to which means buying gas, and this can really add up, especially if you have to travel a long distance. You may not even be able to drive yourself due to your injury, and it can be a financial hardship to pay for transportation. The insurance company that pays your workers’ compensation benefits is required to reimburse you for mileage costs or provide reliable transportation to and from medical appointments.
Travel expenses during vocational rehabilitation efforts are also included, such as mileage costs for going to rehabilitation meetings and trips to potential employers to attend interviews or turn in job applications. To be reimbursed for these costs, you need to submit an expense form and provide the required receipts and documentation.
Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Benefits
The general cost of living goes up on a regular basis, so a set wage loss disbursement can become less valuable over time. The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act does take this situation into account and provides a cost of living adjustment annually to counteract the consequence of inflation. The adjustment is effective October 1 of each year and applies to temporary total, temporary partial, and permanent total disability payments. Unfortunately, it is not automatically applied to every recipient, so you must file a specific claim form in order to receive it.
Let CHASENBOSCOLO Fight for Your Wage Replacement Benefits
If an employment-related injury or illness has kept you from being able to work, you need to act quickly and contact a Virginia workers’ compensation attorney at CHASENBOSCOLO who can help you understand your right to seek wage replacement benefits. We want to make sure you continue to meet your financial obligations and take care of your family, even though your income has been threatened. You should focus on your recovery, and our experienced legal team will handle your claim.
Call CHASENBOSCOLO now at (703) 538-1138 for a confidential case evaluation. We can help you with your Virginia wage replacement claim and the questions you have about your case.