Working in construction could carry certain health risks. Consider a situation where you are diligently fulfilling your responsibilities on an active construction site. Without warning, a stray piece of debris flies into your eye, causing an injury that results in permanent vision loss. This life-altering event can have profound effects on your ability to work, your lifestyle and your overall well-being. In this scenario, workers’ compensation is a lifeline.
Workers’ compensation is a program intended to aid employees who suffer injuries while performing their job duties. One such injury that can significantly alter a person’s life is the permanent loss of vision. If you’ve experienced an eye injury at work in Virginia, understanding the role of workers’ compensation in your healing is crucial to your recovery.
Compensation for permanent vision loss
Should a workplace accident result in the complete loss of sight in one eye, Virginia law states that you should receive extra compensation for a period of 100 weeks. The state calculates your compensation as two-thirds of your regular weekly pay. But why two-thirds? When you work, some of your paycheck goes toward taxes. If you were to receive total wage compensation, your income would exceed your standard take-home pay post-taxation. So, to maintain fairness, the compensation is set at two-thirds of your regular wage.
Receiving benefits while working post-injury
Even in partial loss of vision, or if you can work in some capacity, Virginia law ensures you can still receive benefits. You could be eligible for a portion of the 100 weeks’ compensation based on the severity of your vision loss. Moreover, even after returning to work, you are entitled to continue receiving extra compensation provided your physician confirms you have achieved “maximum medical improvement,” indicating no further improvement of your condition. This way, Virginia law supports you as you navigate life and work with your new circumstances.
Losing your vision can be a stressful experience, but it’s important to remember that there are resources and avenues for you to seek the help and compensation you need. Virginia’s workers’ compensation program is one such resource, providing crucial support when you need it most.