Compensation & 2014 Reimbursement Rates for Injured Virginia Workers

"The Virginia Workers Compensation Commission changes the minimum & maximum comp rates each year to reflect the effects of inflation, as well as the medical traansportation reimbursement rate" according to Herndon comp lawyer Doug Landau, pictured at the Manassas (Prince William) Virginia workers comp Hearing center
“The Virginia Workers Compensation Commission changes the minimum & maximum comp rates each year to reflect the effects of inflation on the cost of living, as well as the medical transportation reimbursement rate” according to Herndon lawyer Doug Landau, shown after a Manassas (Prince William) Virginia workers Hearing

One of the facts that make predicting the precise amount of money an injured worker in Virginia may receive during his or her workers compensation claim is the fact that there are changes to the payment and reimbursement rates that go into effect each year.  These changes reflect the realities of inflation and the economy of the Commonwealth.  

Effective July 1, 2013, the minimum compensation rate for Virginia workers compensation recipients is $238.75 and the maximum is $955.00.

Not all injured workers in Virginia get 2/3rds of their pre-injury pay !

While the “Virginia comp rate” is supposed to be 2/3rds of a disabled workers wages, this 66.6% figure does not apply to employees at the bottom or top of the pay scale. For example, a skilled employee who is making $40.00/hour, or over $1,600 per week, with overtime and bonuses, would not get 2/3rds of her average weekly gross wages because of the “cap on weekly Virginia workers compensation payments.” A disabled worker who made $2,400/week, would only get compensation payments of $955, or about 40% of his or her pre-injury wage rate !!! That is why Doug Landau, of the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd., tells clients, co-counsel and even Circuit Court Judges that “the workers compensation system was designed to be a ‘medical payment and partial wage replacement system only.”

Comp Checks Increase for Inflation

The 2013 Cost of Living Adjustment (or “COLA”) is 1.7% and the Mileage Reimbursement Rate is $0.55/mile for doctors’ therapy, testing and other medical treatment related appointments. This COLA adjustment means that if an injured worker was receiving $500/week in comp benefits last year, and they are not receiving Social Security Disability income (“SSDI”), then their weekly comp check could be increased to $508.50. “This may not seem like much, but in years where the COLA is 3-4%, it adds up over 500 weeks. That $8.50 would amount to over $4,000 in a fatality case, and each succeeding year’s COLA is added on top of the prior year’s increase, sometimes increasing the weekly comp rate by over 20% !” adds Landau. In one case, a client had not sought COLA for several years, and he received a back due COLA check for over $18,000, tax free !

The maximum number of weeks for fatal on-the-job accident cases is 500 weeks. In a fatality case, a maximum of $10,000.00 may be payable for burial expenses and $1,000.00 for transportation. Lawyer Landau notes, “These amounts, also, often fall short of reimbursing grieving families for what they have spent to have their loved one’s remains buried, cremated, and then sent home. For clients who are buried abroad or who originally come from California, the transportation expenses can be huge.”

If you or someone you know or care for has been injured as the result of an on-the-job accident and there are questions about what laws apply, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.

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