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FAQs About Employer Termination of Virginia Workers’ Comp Benefits

Once you have already been approved for Virginia workers’ compensation benefits, you probably assume that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. You do not worry about the status of your claim, and you know you have some financial stability until you can safely return to work. Therefore, you will probably be taken off-guard when you receive an Employer’s Application for Hearing in the mail. A quick scan of the document informs you that your workers’ comp benefits could be modified or terminated entirely. 

The truth is that your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company will actively pursue any reason to avoid paying your benefits, and the paperwork you received is the first step in the process. Fortunately, there are several additional steps and opportunities to contest the move. A Virginia workers’ compensation attorney can explain, but some answers to frequently asked questions may clarify some of the confusion.

Why would my employer seek to change my workers’ comp benefits?

An insurance company is always looking out for its own bottom line, so there are some unlawful tactics in terminating payments. Still, your benefit may end or be modified for legitimate reasons, such as:

  • You are able to earn as much in wages in another position as you did before you were hurt, so you are not losing income;
  • Your treating doctor’s assessment indicates that you are able to return to work in the same pre-injury capacity; or,
  • An independent medical exam (IME) – arranged by the insurer or your employer – asserts that you can go back to work.

Could I be responsible for my employer requesting a hearing?

Yes, since Virginia laws require you to do your part to support your own health. Your workers’ comp benefits could come to an end if you:

  • Refuse to attend an IME;
  • You do not follow your treating physician’s orders or fail to show up for appointments; or,
  • You will not accept other work at your current employer when it is suited to your physical capabilities after being injured.

How can my employer modify my workers’ comp benefits?

If you received the Employer’s Application for Hearing, the company has already taken the first step. The next phase involves review by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (VWC) to determine whether there is probable cause to terminate or modify your benefits. You will have an opportunity to present evidence that supports your position to continue payments. After a decision by the VWC, both parties can request to conduct a full hearing on the issue.

Contact a Virginia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Right Away

It can come as quite a shock to receive word that there could be changes to your workers’ comp benefits, but the Employer’s Application for Hearing is just the beginning of the process. With help from an attorney, you may be able to continue receiving financial support and head back to work when medically ready. For more information, please call Hampton Injury Law PLC to set up a no-cost case evaluation with a skilled Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer.

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