How Long Can You Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Virginia?
How long you will receive workers’ compensation in Virginia depends on the severity of your injury, your recovery period from those injuries, whether you will recover fully or partially, and if you’ll be able to return to work.
The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act sets a maximum of 500 weeks for most workers’ comp cases on how long you can receive benefits. Cases of brain and spinal cord injuries, loss of multiple limbs, and other severe injuries are exceptions to this limit.
Types of workers’ compensation benefits
There are different types of workers’ compensation benefits like those for medical treatment as well as benefits for lost earnings. Both may be received throughout your recovery period, or one benefit may end before the other. You may also be qualified to receive lifetime medical benefits in certain conditions.
Workers’ compensation benefits for total disability
Virginia workers’ compensation law defines a worker as totally disabled when they are completely prevented by their injury from working at all. Totally disabled workers are eligible to receive lost wage benefits until their physician releases them to full duty.
While still under medical treatment and unable to go to work either completely or partially, a part of the injured workers’ lost earnings will be covered by workers’ comp. Lifetime medical treatment costs which include hospitalization, doctor’s fees, prescription drugs, medical exams, physical therapy, and prosthesis will be continued to be paid as well.
Workers’ compensation benefits for partial disability
An injured worker is considered partially disabled when they are still able to work, but with certain limitations that will have them receiving less pay than their pre-injury job.
While they are under these conditions, the patient generally receives benefits until their physician releases them to full work duty. Payments for lost earnings will be computed as a portion of the difference between the workers’ pre-injury and post-injury wages. The worker will also benefit from a lifetime of continuous medical assistance.
Workers’ compensation benefits for permanent loss of body part
Clearly-defined benefits are set by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act for injured workers who suffered permanent loss or loss of use of a body part.
Injured workers are entitled to receive compensation for a specific time period for the permanent loss of a body part.
In cases of permanent partial loss of a body part, the physician will describe in percentage the amount of movement or functionality lost. The percentage will then be used to determine the final amount of benefits to be awarded.
Situations vary. Whatever benefits you can expect to receive must be taken into consideration when you decide whether to accept your employer’s workers’ comp settlement offer or not.
Workers’ compensation lifetime benefits for severe injuries
There are cases where severe injuries are exceptions to the 500-week benefit limit. An injured employee is entitled to receive workers’ comp benefits for life under the following conditions:
- Loss of both eyes, arms, hands, legs, feet, or any two of these in the same accident
- Complete paralysis due to the accident as determined by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission and backed by medical evidence
- Severe brain injury that makes the worker unfit for work in any type of paying job
Consulting a workers’ compensation attorney can help you with your claim
Every claim for workers’ compensation is unique. Claims can get complicated according to the type and severity of your injury. An insurance carrier’s offer to you to settle your workers’ comp claim may sound tempting. You should thus consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to find out what benefits you can expect to receive and ensure that your rights are protected.
Slominski Law has thorough knowledge and comprehensive experience of the workers’ compensation process in Virginia. Call us today at (434) 384-9400 in Lynchburg or at (540) 554-3762 in Roanoke or through the form on this page for a free consultation.
Contact us anytime and let us help you find ways to settle your claim. We’ll be happy to discuss your case and help you get the benefits to which you are entitled.