Computing Virginia Workers’ Compensation

Posted by on Aug 28, 2013 in Workers' Compensation, Workplace Injury | 1 comment

When you get injured on the job through an accident or from other work-related reason and you are incapable of going back to work immediately, it can make it hard to make ends meet. That is why the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (VWC) was formed to oversee the ordering and dispensing of benefits for injured workers. However, it may not be a simple matter at all, especially in Virginia.

Virginia is particularly employer-friendly, and any claims made to the VWC for workers, whether for workers’ compensation or personal injury tends to be favorable to the employer. In fact, under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act, the employer is immune from personal injury claims except in rare cases when an employee receives workers’ compensation benefits. There are also many pitfalls and rules that can derail a claim before it can even get started. It is therefore important that any VWC claim is handled by a lawyer who has a deep knowledge and wide experience with the laws governing workers’ compensation.

When it comes to workers’ compensation, Virginia puts a limit to how long (500 weeks) that an employee can claim benefits except in cases of total and permanent disability which will keep the injured worker from returning to work at all. These benefits, most particularly the weekly payments are computed based on the worker’s earning capacity within the previous 52 weeks, and is typically 66 2/3 %, not exceeding 100% and not lower than 25%. Exceptions are made for AmeriCorps members and Food Stamp Employment and Training Program participants, which are not eligible for workers’ compensation at all. More recently, maritime employees are also barred from claiming workers’ compensation from the VWC.

Again, the process is not as simple as it seems. There are certain conditions under which a worker can claim more benefits under the VWC, under another federal or state program, or through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Computing for the maximum compensation an injured worker in Virginia requires extensive knowledge about workers’ compensation laws. Since reputable injury law firms require no upfront fees and pass through the VWC to approve contingent fees, an injured worker will have nothing to lose and everything to gain by engaging a good lawyer to file for VWC claims.

One Comment

  1. Law is always so puzzling to me, thanks for making sense of it.

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