A teacher’s assistant helping handicapped children injured her back at work. The employer denied the claim for wage loss. While the claim was being docketed for hearing, she was released to light duty, but was unable to perform her pre-injury work with disabled children. In Virginia, an employee released to light duty who is not under an Award must prove that they have made a good faith effort to search for light duty work in order to recover wage loss benefits. The standards imposed by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission are very demanding. Attorney McNamara and her staff explained the Commission’s strict requirements and guided the claimant in her effort to keep a log of job search efforts. The Deputy Commissioner later determined the claimant’s job search effort was adequate to support an ongoing award of wage loss benefits during the period of restricted duty.
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