In Virginia, the entry of the Open Award isn’t 100% foolproof. The employer has an additional 30 days AFTER the entry of the Award to withdraw the Award Agreement. This is also referred to as the Award becoming FINAL. Until those 30 days pass, the Award is not yet final. This means if it is withdrawn during that first 30 days after it is entered, the Award will be vacated and it will be as if the Award was never entered.
The reason this happens is often because, during that 30-day period, your doctor said you could return to work but with some restrictions. Remember, your doctor is often the one chosen by the employer. Know that the employer and the employer’s insurance carrier don’t need a reason to vacate the Award. Reasons are at least something you can attack – but a reason why the Award should be withdrawn is not required – if it’s done in the 30-day time frame.
Sometimes the award is vacated because there was an error and it’s safer for everyone to vacate the Award and enter a new Award – to make sure all the details are correct.
After the 30-day period, you are “in the clear” and the employer has to pay you in accordance with the Open Award. After the 30-day period, the employer needs a valid reason to change the Award and the burden to be able to do that is on the employer, not the worker.
Joe Miller Helps Injured Employees
Joe Miller knows Virginia Workers’ Compensation law. He knows how to work with doctors and experts to make sure your injuries are properly evaluated. He fights for strong justice. If you or someone you know has been hurt at work, contact Joe Miller Law at 888-694-1671 right away.