COLA – Cost of Living Adjustment
A lot of people ask, how does workers compensation work? One part of the claims process in workers compensation in Virginia is getting money for COLA. This is one of the many benefits Virginia workmans comp. Many workers are entitled to Cost of Living adjustments, but do not know about it. Dealing with the work injury and lost wages, it is hard to be on top of the laws of workers compensation Virginia. It’s such a strange calculation as to when someone is eligible for COLA that so many people do not request it, which can cost them a lot of money. COLA is a cost of living adjustment that happens every year. In theory if you are totally out of work and receiving worker’s compensation benefits and you have an award order and not receiving social security benefits, you can request it by filling out the form. You simply go to your local Social Security office with the COLA form, mail the form to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, and you get the Cost of Living Adjustment. If you are on Social Security Disability, you cannot get a Cost of Living Adjustment. If you haven’t received the Cost of Living Adjustment for several years, you need to have a form filled out by the Social Security Administration for each year in order to get your adjustment.
Another tricky issue is figuring out when you are eligible for the Cost of Living Adjustment. You can receive your COLA effective October 1st of each year if you are on an outstanding award and the accident occurred before July 1st of that same year. That means that someone who was injured on June 30 will be able to receive a Cost of Living Adjustment as soon as October 1st (three months). Someone who was injured July 2nd will not be able to receive COLA until October 1st of the following year (15 months).
For more information on COLA and Virginia Workers Compensation, order my book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” by clicking this link, or call our office today (804) 755-7755.