West Virginia Workers' Compensation Laws
UPDATED: March 29, 2011
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West Virginia workers' compensation laws outline the benefits available to injured or ill workers under the state's workers' compensation system, as well as offer details on the process required to obtain these benefits.
Claims under West Virginia Workers' Compensation Laws
If you are injured at work because of an accident, such as slipping, tripping, or falling, you may receive benefits for your injury under the West Virginia workers' compensation system. However, if you were intoxicated or using drugs at the time of your injury, or if your injury is self-inflicted, the injury will not be covered by your employer's workers' compensation insurance in West Virginia.
Occupational illnesses also fall under the umbrella of West Virginia workers' compensation insurance. Such diseases include those caused by continual exposure to harmful conditions at your place of work as well as those that arise because of the nature of your employment. Examples of such occupational diseases include pneumoconiosis, black lung disease, and/or asbestosis, among others.
Surviving relatives of employees who die from their work-related injuries or illnesses also may receive death benefits under West Virginia workers' compensation laws.
West Virginia Workers' Compensation Benefits
Bills for doctor appointments, hospital visits, and other medical treatment for your employment-related injury or occupational disease will be paid by your employer's workers' compensation insurer. The mileage costs you incur traveling to and from medical appointments and examinations may also be reimbursed by your employer's workers' compensation insurance provider.
Additionally, surviving dependents of employees who die from their on-the-job injuries or occupational diseases may be paid death benefits and funeral costs through the employer's workers' compensation insurance.
Because many workers lose wages while recovering from their workplace injury or occupational disease, replacement income benefits are available and are a popular form of workers' compensation benefits. The following types of income replacement benefits are possible:
1) Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD): While an employee recovers from his injury, he is entitled to weekly benefits of 66-70% of his average weekly wage prior to the injury if he cannot work while he recovers.
2) Temporary Partial Rehabilitation Disability Benefits (TPRD): If a worker can do some work while he recovers from his work injury or occupational disease, he may still get lost wage payments at a percentage of the difference between his pre- and post-injury or illness wages. In order to receive TPRD benefits, the worker must obtain vocational rehabilitation services.
3) Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD): If an employee's workplace illness or injury will permanently impair him and reduce his potential earning capacity (such as loss of limb), he may be paid replacement income benefits under PPD. This amount will be dependent on whether he has an unscheduled or a scheduled injury.
4) Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD): If you are indefinitely disabled because of your occupational injury or illness, and it is impossible for you to find work, you may be eligible for PTD benefits to replace your lost wages. The amount of PTD benefits depends on whether your injury is scheduled or unscheduled.
West Virginia Workers' Compensation Statutes
For a look at all relevant West Virginia workers' compensation statutes, consult the online version of the West Virginia Code.
Employers Subject To Workers' Compensation: Workers' Compensation, Chp.23, Art.1, §2; Covered Employees: Workers' Compensation, Chp.23, Art.1, §2; Benefits: Workers' Compensation, Chp.23, Art.4, §1; Claims Procedure: Workers' Compensation, Chp.23, Art. 1, §1.