West Virginia workers' compensation claims

How to Apply for West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Every state has specific laws and steps in place for injured or sick employees who apply for workers’ compensation benefits. (However, federal workers will follow different steps, since their workers’ comp claim process is identical in every state.) If you get hurt or sick at work in West Virginia, follow the steps below to apply for benefits. Then, see how the West Virginia workers’ compensation program changed from 2012 to 2016 in our interactive chart below.

How to File Your West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Claim

State law requires all employers with at least one full-time employee to have West Virginia workers’ compensation insurance. Unless you’re a temporary, domestic services or contract worker, your employer should cover you. Follow these steps to apply for West Virginia workers’ compensation:

  1. Notify your supervisor immediately after seeking medical treatment. Your employer should report your accident to BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company within 24 hours. If your employer fails to do so, you or your doctor can report it using Form BI-1 instead.
  2. Your employer must report your injury or illness to BrickStreet Insurance no later than five days after your accident. If nobody reports it by then, Brickstreet may legally deny your claim.
  3. Unless your injury’s life-threatening, you must make a written or recorded statement describing what happened. You also need to list any witnesses, who you reported your accident to and when. Be sure to include photographs of your injury, workplace area and equipment involved. Then, sign and date your completed statement before submitting it.
  4. Brickstreet will notify you shortly whether your claim’s approved or denied. The company must notify you in writing, either online or by mail.
  5. If denied, you have 60 days to appeal in writing. To do this, you must mail a written statement of protest (along with a copy of your denial letter) to: Workers’ Compensation Office of Administrative Law Judges, P.O. Box 2233, Charleston, WV 25328-2233. You must also notify Brickstreet of your intent to appeal by mailing copies of your protest letter and denial notice. Learn more information from the West Virginia Office of the Insurance Commissioner on how to appeal denied workers’ compensation claims.

Every West Virginia workers’ compensation case is different, so your own process may vary. To learn more, read the BrickStreet Workers’ Compensation Program Information Sheet here.

West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Statistics

Workers’ compensation programs for most states are included in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)’ annual statistical report. These reports show total claims filed, how many people missed work or changed jobs, and data for each employment sector. Our chart below shows how the West Virginia workers’ compensation program changed between 2012 and 2016.

The West Virginia workers’ compensation program over this five-year period saw numbers fall significantly in every claim category. From 2012 to 2016, injured workers filed 4,000 fewer total WC claims. And service-industry workers made up anywhere from 58.5% to 62% of the total claims filed each year. However, workers in the service industry filed 3,800 fewer workers’ comp claims in 2016 than they did in 2012. The one relatively stable statistic is injured employees who received work restrictions or changed jobs every year. That segment comprised 48% of total claims filed every year except 2012, when it was 50%.

Related: How to Apply for Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Benefits

State laws governing the West Virginia workers’ compensation program changed several different times between 2005 to 2017. It’s difficult to find current filing rules, benefit types and claim requirements that apply to injured workers in this state. Luckily, you can get confidential advice from a workers’ comp attorney about your specific injury or situation free of charge.

All workers’ comp lawyers work on contingency, so you’ll never pay for legal assistance unless your case wins. In fact, attorneys won’t take on your case on unless they believe your workers’ comp claim qualifies for benefits. It’s the best way to get paid the most benefits you’re owed for your illness or injury, including lost wages. After all, what have you got to lose?

Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free benefits evaluation now!

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Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.