Many of my clients who are on workers’ compensation in Virginia also have the possibility of retiring. This can present a problem. The retirement has the potential to adversely affect the workers’ compensation benefits. This is especially the case when the employer has provided the injured worker a light duty job which the worker is able to do. If this is the situation, the worker cannot “retire” and still collect workers’ compensation benefits. This is so because the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission has ruled in the past the worker has created his/her own work loss by retiring and forfeiting his/her light duty position. This would not be the case if the injured worker was unable to do any light duty work. Thus, it is imperative that the injured worker who is on workers’ compensation consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer ‘before” retiring from the work force.

It does no good to contact a lawyer after retiring. That is like “shutting the door after the horse has bolted” out of the barn. Once the worker retires the Commission will say he/she has suffered a wage loss.