I am making less pay after my work injury. Is that fair?

No.  If you have an Award for workers’ comp in Virginia and your employer lets you come back to work on restricted duty, in many cases the workers’ comp insurance is supposed to “make up the difference” in your pay. This is called “temporary partial disability”.  These are partial wage payments that, when added to your paycheck upon returning to work, should raise your wage to your previous wage prior to your injury.  Workers compensation insurance is supposed to make the injured worker “whole” and not place them in a situation where they cannot earn as much as they did before they got hurt.

However, you might be obligated to look for additional light duty work while you are making less pay, depending on your situation.  In some situations, if you have a work restriction from a medical professional limiting the number of hours you can work, you can end up making less money due to working fewer hours.  Many times, the workers’ comp carrier will provide the additional pay to make up the difference without a dispute. Vocational rehabilitation services are also available to help injured workers find employment within their restrictions.  However, these situations can get very complicated and fact specific.  It is very difficult in a blog to spell out every possible scenario and how you should proceed.

If you are getting paid less than you were before your injury, don’t give up.  Get advice from an experienced workers’ comp lawyer to address your specific situation.


The statements contained herein are for general information purposes only and are not considered specific legal advice to your situation as Mr. Shoen would need to meet with you individually to ensure client confidentiality and would need additional information not provided in this article. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult directly with an attorney for legal advice.

To learn more about the Law Office of Darren Shoen, or to speak with a lawyer, visit their website at shoenlaw.com.


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