One of the most common features in workers’ compensation insurance is disability payments. If you are unable to work, or are limited in the kind of work you can perform, you could receive weekly checks to help you financially. Disability benefits in Colonial Heights workers’ compensation claims are fairly common but you might need the help of a dedicated workers’ comp attorney to properly apply for them. There are a few different types of disability that you need to consider after your work-related accident.
Workers’ compensation in Virginia is governed by state law. Disability for a local workers’ compensation claim refers to the time missed from work due to a doctor’s orders, or being given light duty restrictions that pays less than what the worker was making previously. There is also permanent partial disability, which compensates for the loss of use of a body part.
Temporary partial disability is when an injured worker is on light duty restrictions and making less money than their pre-injury average weekly wage. This is calculated as being two-thirds of the difference between the pre-injury wage and the light duty wage. For example, if a worker’s light duty wage is six dollars an hour less than what their prior wage was, then the disability pay would be an extra four dollars per hour. In order to be placed on temporary partial disability, the injury cannot be serious enough to completely take the person out of work. This could occur when a worker experiences a limited range of movement but is still able to work at a desk.
Temporary total disability benefits are for people whose doctor has taken them completely out of work as a result of their accident. To compensate for their lack of income, they receive checks in the amount of two-thirds of their average pre-injury weekly wage.
A person could also get temporary total disability benefits if they are recommended for light duty but their employer does not have a light duty job to accommodate their restrictions. The maximum amount they can receive under Virginia law is 500 weeks of benefits from the date of their accident, unless they qualify for permanent and total disability.
Permanent partial disability is for a list of body parts that an injured worker can get an impairment rating on. They include: arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, hips, as well as for their hearing and vision. Either a doctor or a physical therapist will conduct a functional capacity evaluation and will assign an impairment rating to the injured body parts. The law then provides a calculation to determine how much compensation is owed. Only the previously listed body parts and senses can receive an impairment rating for permanent partial disability in a Colonial Heights work compensation claim.
There is a benefit for a permanent and total disability if a worker was injured so severely that they were not able to retain gainful employment in any form. They can only apply for this after they have already received benefits for the full 500 week period, and have two years to apply for permanent and total disability status. If they are granted this benefit, they would receive weekly checks for the duration of the period where they are not working. It is possible that this could last for the remainder of their life but this is only in exceptional cases.
Whether you are working light duty, temporarily not working, or you are unable to work ever again, you might be eligible for disability benefits through a Colonial Heights workers’ compensation claim. Your odds of achieving a fair benefit will be strengthened with a competent lawyer by your side. Reach out to one now to discuss your case.