Often, the answer is YES. The only situations when marketing is not required is when you are under an "open" TTD or TPD award with the Commission, or when your doctor has taken you completely out of work. If you are receiving checks, but not under an award, the insurance company is only paying you voluntarily.
What does voluntary mean? It means your checks can be stopped at any time without reason or consequence to the insurance company. It also means that you have a legal duty to market in order to receive a check. The rule of thumb is to look for 5 or more different jobs per week, within your work restrictions and skill set.
It is important to note that you DO NOT have to market if your doctor has you completely out of work.
If you are unclear whether you are under an award you should contact an attorney for a free consultation.
Not Getting Checks - Is Marketing Required?
Usually job search is required in order to receive money for your wage loss. Marketing is not required if you are only seeking medical benefits, or if you are not entitled to receive wage loss for some other reason (always double check your rights with an attorney). Marketing is also not required if your doctor has you taken completely out of work.
If your claim is contested and you have work restrictions (but are not medically disabled from all forms of work), then you should be looking for jobs and keeping detailed records of your efforts. Again, the rule of thumb is to look for at least five different jobs each week within your restrictions and skill set.
How to Market
If you are not working your pre-injury job and are released to light or sedentary duty, Virginia law requires you to "market your residual work capacity" for each week in which you claim monetary benefits.
In order to make the best case for benefits, keep these pointers in mind:
- Look for at least five jobs with different employers per week;
- Make sure to look for jobs that you are capable of performing with your physical restrictions (jobs that are not within your restrictions won't count);
- Also make sure you posses the right educational qualifications, certifications, and skills for each job;
- Try to send a resume or application when possible. This is not required, but is often the deciding factor in close cases;
- Always call and follow up to see if your contact has been reviewed and if the employer is hiring;
- Always go to an interview when offered;
- Never turn down a job offer within your restrictions and skill set;
- Document EVERYTHING! (see next section)
Recording Marketing Efforts
Keeping careful track of your job search is crucial to winning your claim. It is important to write down your job search at the same time as you do it. Here is the information you should track:
- The date of the contact;
- The employer;
- The position applied for (keep a copy of the job posting whenever possible);
- How learned about the job;
- Where you applied (address, phone, or Internet);
- Any contact you communicated with (keep copies of email);
- The physical and skill requirement of the job;
- If you sent a resume or application form (keep copies);
- All follow up contact and what you were told about the hiring process (note the dates of these follow ups);
- Any interview dates or job offers.
Additional resources provided by the author
For additional information, view the marketing guidelines online at the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission website.