The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act specifically outlines what type of benefits you may receive if you have been injured on the job:
- You are entitled to receive temporary total disability benefits during the time that you are totally disabled from performing any type of work. The amount of the temporary total disability benefits you will receive is dependent upon your pre-injury average weekly wage. You will be paid two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wage. For example, if your pre-injury average weekly wage is $1,200, your weekly temporary total disability check will be $800.00. It is important to understand that your temporary total disability benefits are not taxed.
- If you return to light-duty work after your injury and you are earning less than your pre-injury wages, you are entitled to temporary partial disability benefits. These benefits are paid based on two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury average weekly wage and your post-injury wages. So, if your pre-injury average weekly wage is $1,200 and your post-injury average weekly wage is $600.00, your weekly temporary partial disability check would be $400.00. Again, these benefits are not taxed.
- You are also entitled to an award of lifetime medical benefits for your injuries. This means that your medical treatment is covered, for your lifetime, so long as the treatment is reasonable, necessary, and causally related to your work accident
- Depending on your injury, you may also be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits. These benefits are paid when you experience a documented loss of use to a specific body part (such as an arm, a leg, a hand, etc.). Once your doctor gives you an impairment rating for the affected body part, you will be paid a certain number per week of disability benefits based upon that rating. Virginia does not provide for any permanent partial disability benefits for loss of use to the back or neck.
- If you suffer a severe injury you may be entitled to permanent and total disability benefits. These benefits entitle you to weekly disability benefits for the remainder of your lifetime. Permanent and total disability benefits are awarded if you suffer:
- Loss of both hands, both arms, both feet, both legs, both eyes (or a combination thereof) in the same accident; or
- You are totally paralyzed; or
- You suffer a brain injury that so is severe that you are incapable of gainful employment.
Noticeably absent from this list of scheduled workers’ compensation benefits is any compensation for pain and suffering. The Virginia Workers’ Compensation does not provide any recovery for the pain and suffering you endure when you are hurt on the job. However, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you receive the full scope of your benefits. If you’ve been hurt on the job, contact Allen & Allen to schedule a free consultation today.