If you were injured at work in West Virginia, you are likely eligible for a series of workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can include disability payments, medical treatment, and job retraining. Learn more about how to calculate your West Virginia workers’ comp benefits below. (In order to receive these benefits, you must first file a West Virginia workers’ comp claim.)
Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are paid while you recover from your injuries and are completely unable to work. TTD benefits are two-thirds of your average weekly wage (AWW), up to the state’s maximum TTD benefit ($787.06 in 2017).
You will continue to receive these benefits until you:
Unlike many states, West Virginia does not automatically grant temporary partial disability benefits to workers with reduced wages. Instead, you are eligible for temporary partial disability benefits only if you are:
These partial benefits are 70 percent of the difference between your pre-injury average weekly wage and your post-injury wages. For example, suppose you earned $400 per week before your injury, but you are now limited to earning $200 a week. Your weekly partial benefit would be $140 ($400 - $200 = $200; 70% of $200 = $140).
Temporary partial rehabilitation benefits are paid until you return to work at your normal wage, complete your rehabilitation plan, or receive up to 104 weeks of benefits
Your eligibility for permanent disability benefits is assessed once you reach maximum medical improvement. If you have permanent limitations but can return to work in some capacity, you will be eligible for permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. PPD benefits are two-thirds of your average weekly wage but are subject to a lower state maximum than other disability benefits ($550.94 in 2017). Benefits are paid for a period of time, which is calculated differently for scheduled and unscheduled losses.
A scheduled loss involves an amputation of a body part listed in West Virginia’s PPD schedule, including arms, legs, fingers, and toes. You will receive two-thirds of your AWW, up to the maximum PPD benefit mentioned above, for four weeks for each percentage point of disability. For example, the state schedule lists the amputation of an arm at a 60 percent disability, which would equal 240 weeks of benefits (60 x 4 = 240).
All other permanent partial disabilities are compensated as a percentage of your whole body. This includes partial or total loss of functional use of any body part. Once you reach MMI, your doctor will evaluate you and determine how much total body function you have lost (stated as a percentage). For each percentage point, you will receive four weeks of PPD benefits.
For example, suppose you injured your neck—resulting in a 20% permanent impairment—and your pre-injury wage was $600 per week. You will receive $400 a week (two-thirds of $600 = $400) for 80 weeks (20 percent x 4 = 80), for a total award of $32,000.
Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits are paid to workers with very severe injuries. You are presumed to be permanently and totally disabled if you lose the use of both eyes, hands, or feet, or one hand and one foot. Other injuries may qualify as permanently and totally disabling if, among other requirements, you are found to have a whole person impairment of 50% or more.
PTD benefits are two-thirds of your AWW, up to the state’s maximum PTD benefit ($787.06 in 2017), and are paid until you reach Social Security retirement age. You must complete a separate application for PTD benefits in West Virginia. If you have questions about your eligibility for PTD benefits, contact a West Virginia workers’ comp lawyer.
If an injury or illness results in death, the worker’s family may receive death benefits. Surviving spouses, minor children, and other dependents are eligible for a weekly benefit payment, which cannot exceed the state’s maximum death benefit ($787.06 in 2017). Additionally, the family will also receive compensation for some funeral expenses.