What You Need to Know About Workers’ Comp Wage Loss Benefits
No one goes to work expecting or hoping to be injured on the job, but accidents happen. In Virginia, more than 44,500 major and 51,300 minor workplace injuries were reported in 2018, according to the annual report of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. If you are injured on the job, you are likely entitled to wage loss benefits through the workers’ compensation system.
Workers’ compensation laws provide a form of employer-paid insurance so that employees hurt on the job can be compensated promptly. The workers’ compensation attorneys at Lugar Injury Law are experienced in helping injured employees with their claims for benefits, including for lost wages. If you?re hurt at work, you?ll need our dedicated Roanoke-based attorneys fighting for all the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Call us today at (540) 384-0348 for an appointment to discuss your claim.
The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act
To be eligible for wage loss benefits for a workplace injury under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act), you must show that the accident happened while you were working. Working includes doing something on behalf of your employer, even if it isn?t typically part of your normal duties. For example, you may work on a manufacturing line screwing together nuts and bolts. One day at work your manager asks you to move some heavy boxes and you get injured while doing so. Because you were hurt on the job, doing something to benefit your employer, your injury is covered by workers’ compensation. You didn?t have to be injured by your specific job.
Generally, to be covered by the act, your injury must: (1) occur at work or during a work-related function, (2) be the result of a specific work activity, or (3) have suddenly happened at a certain time. Not all workplace injuries are covered, however. If an employee is acting outside the scope of his work or caused the accident through misconduct (such as being intoxicated), workers’ compensation benefits can be denied.
Because you must prove your eligibility under the Act, it is vital to contact us promptly if you?ve been hurt at work. You want to make sure you follow proper procedures so your claim will be awarded.
Benefits Available Under the Act
Your on-the-job injury can result in different types of benefits that are awarded depending on the severity of the injury and your recovery. According to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, injured workers can receive medical expenses, temporary disability benefits, permanent partial disability, permanent total disability, and death benefits.
When you?ve been injured and can?t work, receiving temporary disability benefits is a priority. These wage loss benefits are crucial so you can pay your living expenses such as housing, utilities, transportation, and food while you recover. What amount of lost wages you receive depends on whether your injury is a temporary total disability (TTD) or temporary partial disability (TPD).
Let?s look at these two wage loss benefits more closely.
- Temporary total disability (TTD):
Consider a serious on-the-job injury like a broken leg. Likely you will need several weeks off for surgery, therapy, and recovery. Your doctor will provide documentation that you cannot work because of your work-related injury. You may then be entitled to 66 2/3% of your regular wages, which are based on your earnings for the 52 weeks before you got hurt. The amount you will receive is capped at a statewide maximum reimbursement amount.
- Temporary partial disability (TPD):
You may be eligible for TPD if you are hurt on the job but can return to work with restrictions. For example, you are a furniture mover who hurt your back lifting a couch. Your back is improving and you were released to return to work for ?light duty.? Your employer has an office position where you talk to clients on the phone and schedule moves. As a mover, you made $18 an hour, but office work pays only $13 an hour. You may be able to make up the difference with TPD.
It?s important to note that you are not eligible for wage loss benefits for the first seven calendar days after your injury. Your benefits will start the eighth day if still incapacitated. However, should you be incapacitated for more than 21 days, you will be awarded the waiting week.
Don?t Delay in Making Your Wage Loss Benefits Claim
Getting hurt on the job is traumatic and stressful. You need to focus on your medical treatment, but you can?t work and have bills to pay. The sooner you talk to the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Lugar Injury Law, the quicker we can start working to get the compensation to help you heal and move on with your life. Contact us at (540) 384-0348 about wage loss benefits today.