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The Virginia Workers Compensation system provides several types of benefits to workers who have been injured on the job or made ill by an occupational disease:
    •    wage replacement (temporary total or partial) — up to two-thirds of his or her gross average weekly wage, up to a set maximum weekly limit
    •    lifetime medical benefits — for as long as necessary
    •    permanent partial impairment
    •    permanent and total disability
    •    death benefits — for surviving, qualifying dependents such as spouse, children, or parents in destitute circumstances
    •    cost of living increase — must be specifically requested by the worker
    •    vocational rehabilitation
Definition of an Eligible Injury
The Virginia workers comp laws define an injury that's eligible for compensation as one that:
    •    occurs at work or during a work-related function
    •    is caused by a specific work activity
    •    happens suddenly at a specific time
A worker's injury that was incurred gradually or from repetitive trauma is not covered by Virginia's workers comp laws, but certain diseases that are caused by repetitive trauma are covered.
Definition of an Eligible Occupational Disease
In order to be covered by Virginia's workers compensation system, an occupational disease must:
    •    be caused by the work, but
    •    not be a disease of the neck, back, or spinal column
Time Limit for Filing a Workers Compensation Claim
For an injury, the employee has two years from the date of the accident to file a Workers Compensation claim. For a disease, the employee has either:
    •    two years from the date the physician informs the employee that the disease is work-related, or
    •    five years from the last date that the employee was exposed to the condition at work that caused the disease, which ever is sooner
The employee must file a claim even if his or her employer has already paid lost wages or covered some medical treatment. If the employee neglects to file the claim, the employer may stop covering the medical care or stop paying lost wages at any time.
Talk to a Virginia Workers Compensation Attorney for Help
Whether you are sure that your injury or illness is eligible for workers compensation benefits or not, it's in your best interest to describe your case to an experienced, knowledgeable workers compensation attorney at a Virginia law firm that represents individuals seeking workers comp benefits. The laws regarding benefits are complex, and a skilled workers comp lawyer can maximize your chances of receiving benefits. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.