How to File for Workers’ Compensation in Virginia
You must file for workers’ compensation through the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. If you suffered an injury or developed an illness at work, you can seek compensation for your damages, including medical costs and lost wages. The first step is talking to your lawyer, followed by these requirements:
- Report the incident to your employer as soon as possible (within 30 days).
- File a claim with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (within two years).
By law, you have 30 days to report the injury to your employer and two years to file a claim with the Commission. After this, your claim is no longer valid and you will not be able to collect compensation for your damages.
Your employer has ten days to contact the Commission with a report after you provide notification of the injury or illness.
“Where should I file my claim?”
In Virginia, you should send workers’ compensation claims directly to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. If you fail to notify the Commission regarding your accident, you risk losing your right to compensation for your injury. After you file, you will receive a PIN number in the mail and a JCN (Jurisdiction Claim Number). These numbers allow you to access your files with the Commission online.
How to send your claim to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission:
- By WebFile: Log into your WebFile account with your PIN and JCN numbers, where you can file a claim online.
- By Fax: First, fill out the Claim for Benefits form, and then fax it to the Commission at (804) 367-6124.
- By Mail: After filling out the Claim for Benefits form, mail it to the following address: Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission 1000 DMV Drive, Richmond, Virginia 23220
- In Person: After filling out the Claim for Benefits form, drop it off at any Commission office location.
Workers’ Compensation Claim Timeline
- You notify your employer of the accident.
- You file a claim with the Commission.
- Your employer contacts the Commission to file a FROI (First Report of Injury).
- The Commission provides information about your rights and obligations.
- The Commission sends notification of your award (if it’s accepted)
- If you are dissatisfied with your order, you can request a hearing.
What to do if Your Employer Disputes Your Claim
When it comes to getting compensation for an on-the-job injury, you hold the burden of proof. This means your employer can dispute your claim to avoid providing the benefits you need. You can protect your right to compensation in a hearing with a Deputy Commissioner (workers’ compensation judge). Hearings are similar to court; they involve testimony, witnesses, and cross-examination. Although you are not legally obligated to have an attorney represent you at the hearing, it may be difficult to win your hearing without a legal professional on your side.
Basic Timeline of Workers’ Compensation Hearings
- Request a hearing through the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission
- Optional: Parties request mediation. If mediation is not successful, the case returns to the hearing docket.
- The Commission assigns a judge to your case. You will receive notification when this happens.
- You receive notification of the time and place your hearing will occur.
- At the hearing, the judge hears evidence from the employer and the injured worker.
- The judge makes a decision and issues a written decision (also called an Opinion). This is mailed to both parties.
- If either party wants to appeal the case, they can do so within 30 days of the judge’s decision. You can file a first appeal with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.
- If either party wants to appeal the case again, they can do so within 30 days of the Commission’s opinion. The second appeal goes to the Virginia Court of Appeals.
- If either party wishes to appeal the case a third time, they can do so within 30 days through the Supreme Court of Virginia.
When to Contact a Virginia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you were hurt in an accident at work, now is the time to get in touch with a workers’ compensation lawyer at Agnew & Rosenberger, PLLC. Our narrow field of practice allows us to provide in-depth, individualized attention to every case, no matter how complex. To start your case now, contact an attorney from our firm and schedule your first consultation.