Virginia Workers Compensation Law Can Require a Job Search For Even Partial Disability Benefits

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If an employee has an injury but is not totally disabled but only partially disabled, then the employee can not get Virginia Workers' Comp payments unless the employee does marketing or a job search. The Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission has now determined that the minimum requirements for marketing are filing five (5) job applications per week and registering with the Virginia Employment. The job applications must be for jobs that are within the work restrictions set by the treating physician.

If the employee finds a light duty job, the employee may want to request partial compensation if the light duty job pays less than the pre-injury job. However, the light duty job may not end the marketing requirement. In the recent case of Ford Motor Co. v. Favinger , 275 Va. 83, 654 SE2d 575 (2008), the Virginia Supreme Court said the merit finding of light duty work does not negate the requirement of marketing if the light duty work pays less than the pre-injury work. Thus, if the employee had been making $ 800.00 per week pre-injury and the employee finds a light duty position paying $ 400.00 a week, the employee can not expect partial workers' compensation to make up the difference (without doing additional marketing). The employee with the $ 400.00 per week position probably does not have to do five (5) job applications per week but the employee may have to continue to apply for at least one (1) to (2) job applications per week if the employee expects partial compensation.

The ratione for this is making only $ 400.00 per week indicating you are not doing as well as your pre-injury job. It also means you "possibly" could still make $ 800.00 a week with the right light duty job. Thus, a job search is still required even though you have a light duty job.

Of course, it is always helpful to consult an experienced Virginia Workers' Compensation Attorney if you have questions about this.

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.

Source by Jerry Lutkenhaus

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