One of the primary functions of a Henrico County workers’ compensation claim is to provide monetary assistance to employees whose injuries have left them unable to work. Injured workers seek to claim benefits to offset the wages lost as a result of the temporary disability. These are injuries that keep the employee out of work for more than a week but only in situations where the worker will eventually recover. Serious accidents causing permanent loss of working ability may make a worker eligible for indefinite benefits.
A Henrico County lawyer can help employees understand the disability benefits available to them per the workers’ compensation laws. They can also help workers identify their eligibility for benefit payments and complete the necessary paperwork to claim them.
Fortunately, most recipients of workers’ compensation benefits have injuries that will heal over time. However, their injuries may be so severe that they keep a worker off the job and missing out on wages for a significant amount of time.
According to Virginia Code §65.2-500, workers’ compensation insurance must pay injured workers at a rate of two-thirds their average weekly wage for the time missed because of a temporary disability. These payments only apply if an employee misses at least seven calendar days of work. They cannot receive payment for those seven days unless they miss 21 days or more in total.
In cases where an employee suffers an injury that does not result in temporary disability but does limit their ability to work, workers’ compensation pays at a rate of two-thirds the difference between their current wages and their usual pay. For example, if a worker typically earns $1,000 a week, but an injury limits them to $700 a week, workers’ compensation will pay $200 a week.
Not every worker is fortunate enough to make a full recovery after a workplace injury or illness. In some cases, the injured worker loses function of a body part or contracts a disease which affects their ability to earn a living. These individuals can claim benefits as a result of a permanent disability.
Under Virginia Code §65.2-503, workers who lose function in a specific body part receive benefits for a set compensation period. For example, the loss of a thumb entitles an employee to 60 weeks’ worth of benefits. The most severe examples cover a permanent loss of working ability. According to Virginia Code §65.2-503 (c), total incapacity means:
Workers who suffer total incapacity are eligible for a total of 500 weeks of benefits. Injured workers must request these benefits by filing a claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (VWCC). A Henrico County workers’ compensation disability benefits lawyer can evaluate an employee’s eligibility for either temporary or permanent workers’ compensation benefits.
It is essential that an injured worker be proactive in discovering which benefits they may be entitled to claim. Benefit payments are not automatic, and the VWCC requires employees to pursue the disability assistance they need themselves.
However, this doesn’t mean victims of workplace accidents have to seek these benefits alone. A professional Henrico County attorney can help you seek the workers’ compensation disability benefits you are entitled to. To learn more about the potential benefits available under the workers’ compensation laws in the Commonwealth, call today.