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Partially Disabled What Happens Next with my Virginia Workers Comp Claim

You have an injury on the job. It prevents you from doing your old job and you have a partial disability. do you still receive compensation for this under Virginia Law?.

PARTIAL DISABILITY: This can take many forms. You may have an arm impairment which limits your lifting. You may have a leg impairment which limits your standing. You may have a back impairment which limits your lifting or standing. The big question will be will this injury prevent you from doing your pre-injury work.

If so, then you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits.MARKETING: If you are only partially disabled, this by itself may not get you compensation. This is so because you are not totally "unable to work.

" It may also be necessary to look for work within your restrictions. This usually requires registering with the Virginia Employment Commission Job Service program and filing job applications within your restrictions.THE EMPLOYER: The employer may offer you or create for you a light duty job that you can do within the restrictions set for you by your doctor. Typically, if you have a lifting restriction due to an injury, the employer would offer you a light duty job which has restricted lifting. The employer would have an incentive to do this because the longer you stay out on workers' compensation the higher the insurance company will eventually raise the employer's premiums.THE VOCATIONAL PLACEMENT WORKER: If you are on workers' compensation in Virginia but have been released for light duty work, the insurer will often hire a job placement worker to place you in alternative employment.

This worker will first try to place you with your old employer in a light duty position. If that fails, then the worker will try to place you elsewhere. If you are on compensation, you have a duty to cooperate with this job placement worker.EDUCATION: The injured worker with a partial disability may wonder why he/she cannot have the insurer send him or her back to school to learn a light duty occupation.

The Virginia law does provide for this but the Commission has taken the position the insurance company has to be allowed a certain amount of time to do job placement. After job placement is not successful, the injured worker can ask the Commission to order the insurer to provide for re-education.THE DOCTOR: The doctor has a vital role in the job placement process. The doctor sets the restrictions which the vocational worker has to follow. If a light duty job is found, the doctor often will have to agree that the job is appropriate.

THE CLAIMS ADJUSTER: The adjuster for the insurance company will make the decision to when to refer the employee to vocational placement. When the referral is made, the employee does have a duty to cooperate with vocational placement. This is especially the case when the employee has been released to light duty work.SUMMARY, in my 30 years of practice handling Virginia Workers' Compensation claims, many employees have not wanted to cooperate with vocational job placement. However, under the law, they have a duty to do so.

If they do not, their compensation can be suspended. It can be very difficult to cooperate with vocational placement especially if the worker makes the employee file job applications for jobs the employee is not interested in. If there is a problem, the partially disabled employee should consult an attorney who is experienced in Virginia Workers' Compensation problems.

This may be considered AN ADVERTISEMENT or Advertising Material under the Rules of Professional Conduct governing lawyers in Virginia. This note is designed for general information only. The information presented in this note should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

.Jerry Lutkenhaus is a practitioner of Workers' Compensatoin law in the Richmond, Virginia area for over 30 years He was given an "AV" rating by Martindale Hubbell in 2003. Lexis Nexis listed him in the 2005 Bar Register of Preeminent Attorneys.

For more information, see our websites at and http://www. or call Jerry Lutkenhaus at 804-358-4766 for a free consultation on your claim.Article Source:


By: Jerry Lutkenhaus

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