The process for workers’ compensation claims in Virginia is long and can be confusing. The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission has multiple deadlines for injured workers and others in the process. Do you know what you need to do and when for your workers’ comp claim?
If you don’t tell the Commission about your injury at work within the right time frame, you’re not eligible for any benefits. Workers’compensation benefits can include money for time spent unable to work, money for time spent working at a lower salary than before the injury, and payment for medical bills and treatment. You don’t want to miss out on your benefits!
The four initial deadlines, for you, your employer, and your employers’ insurance, are:
1. The Commission says you should tell your employer immediately when you are injured at work or when a doctor diagnoses you with a condition caused by your job. If you can’t tell your job immediately for whatever reason, you must report it within thirty (30) days. If you don’t tell your job within thirty (30) days, your workers’ compensation claim could be denied.
2. Your employer then must report the injury or illness to the Commission within ten (10) days.
3. You must file a claim with the Commission within two (2) years of the injury or illness. You can’t get any benefits until you file the claim and it goes through the claim process, so filing as soon as possible is better so you can get started on getting your money sooner.
4. After the claim is filed, the Commission will send information to the workers’ compensation insurance company for your employer. The insurance company has 20 days to approve or deny your claim.
If you follow the three steps of telling your job, telling a doctor, and calling HammondTownsend, you can rest easy. HammondTownsend will take care of filing a claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission so you don’t have to and will make sure you meet all deadlines.
If you have a hearing about your claim, the Commission will send a written Judicial Opinion to both you and to the insurance company with the result of the hearing. If you were denied, HammondTownsend will talk with you to see if an appeal is the right thing to do in your case. Appeals in the workers’ compensation claim process must be entered within thirty (30) days of an opinion.
If you or the insurance company disagree with the result of the hearing, either side has thirty (30) days to file an appeal with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission to have an opinion from more Commissioners, instead of just the single Commissioner who gave the original opinion.
If you or the insurance company disagree with the result from the larger Commission, either side has thirty (30) days to file an appeal with the Virginia Court of Appeals to have them make a decision.
If you or the insurance company disagree with the result from the Court of appeals, either side has thirty (30) days to file an appeal with the Virginia Supreme Court to have them make a final decision.