Workers’ compensation should cover an individual’s medical treatment after an on-the-job injury. However, some workers may not be able to return to their previous occupation or work in any capacity. In these situations, employees covered by workers’ compensation may be eligible for disability benefits. A seasoned attorney could help you with recovering workers’ compensation disability benefits in Chesterfield County. Reach out to a dedicated workers’ compensation lawyer today.
Temporary partial disability is a benefit an injured employee may receive when their doctor has only released them back to restricted-duty work. If a person is working in a limited capacity and earning less than they did before the injury, they can receive benefits to make up some of the difference. Temporary partial disability is calculated by taking two-thirds of the difference between the worker’s pre-injury and post-injury earnings.
Temporary total disability is available when an injured worker’s doctor says they cannot work, or can only do restricted duty but have not yet returned to work. In either of those two cases, workers’ compensation would be required to pay them temporary total benefits, which amount to two-thirds of their pre-injury average weekly wage.
There is no restriction on the type of injury that would qualify someone for these benefits. The injuries can range from sprains and strains to broken bones. Some of the most common include torn rotator cuffs, herniated discs, meniscal tears, hernias, and joint problems.
Permanent partial disability is available when the treating physician designates that the patient has reached maximum medical improvement and they have a permanent loss of use to an extremity, including limbs and digits. These benefits are also available for injured workers who suffer vision loss, hearing loss, or scarring.
The doctor will designate the percentage of loss of use to the affected extremity, and based on that, the employee is entitled to a certain number of weeks of benefits. The Virginia Code describes exactly how much these losses of use ratings are worth. For example, a 10 percent loss of use to an arm is worth 20 weeks of benefits. If the worker is settling the case instead of taking that benefit separately, it is crucial to consider this amount during negotiations.
If a person’s injury leaves them completely unable to work, they may be able to receive permanent total disability benefits. The employee would receive a weekly disability check for the rest of their life. These cases are restricted to severe brain injuries and people with a significant loss of use to two or more extremities.
Insurance companies may deny a workers’ compensation disability claim for numerous reasons. Insurance companies are often skeptical if the worker is injured shortly after being hired. They are also much more skeptical of claims that are not reported right away. Even though workers have 30 days to report the injury under the law, it is important to notify their employer as soon as possible.
Insurance companies may deny claims if the individual has a history of a pre-existing condition affecting the same body part or multiple prior workers’ compensation claims. They may also issue a denial if there are inconsistencies in the description of the accident given to the employer, doctor, and adjuster. Insurance companies also typically deny claims if the worker tested positive for an illegal substance after an accident.
If you need help seeking workers’ compensation disability benefits in Chesterfield County or if your claim was denied, you should seek out an experienced attorney. A lawyer could advise you about what to do and gather all of the available evidence. Disability benefits could make an enormous difference in your life, and you deserve to maximize your chances of success.