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What To Know About Virginia Workers' Compensation

Last updated: April 8, 2023

Accidents can happen in any line of work regardless of profession or industry, but certain industries remain particularly prone to higher numbers. Industries such as construction, manufacturing, transport, and sanitation are all heavily impacted by workplace accident rates. 

Proper handling of claims is paramount for the successful treatment of victims and reimbursement to cover medical expenses related to the injury. 

Virginia workers' compensation offers critical support for those injured at their workplace. Check out this guide on how it works.

The Virginia Workers Compensation Act

Virginia Workers Compensation is a state-mandated insurance program that provides financial benefits to employees who are injured or become ill due to their job. Employers in Virginia are required to carry workers' compensation insurance and provide coverage for their employees. 

Injured employees are eligible for medical care, lost wages, and other benefits, depending on the severity of their injury. 

Employers are not allowed to terminate or discriminate against employees who file a worker's compensation claim. The act covers all types of occupational diseases, from common ones such as hearing loss, respiratory diseases, and skin diseases to rare conditions like asbestosis or lead poisoning. 

For each type of condition, specific compensation strategies are outlined in the act so that workers can receive help without jumping through too many hoops. You must learn about and understand these compensation strategies if you contract an occupational disease, as the rules may differ somewhat for each one.

What Benefits Are Included In Virginia's Workers' Compensation?

What Benefits Are Included In Virginia's Workers' Compensation?

These are the benefits included in the Virginia Workers' Compensation:

Mileage Reimbursement

Employers are liable to provide mileage reimbursement related to medical appointments, pharmacy visits, vocational rehabilitation meetings, and job interviews that the injured worker had to sustain because of their injury. 


If an injured worker doesn't have reliable transportation, he can request to receive rides to and from appointments at the employer's expense.


Most employers and injured workers agree on a lump sum settlement that covers the costs and loss associated with an injury. These are voluntary and invalid until the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission approves them. 

Temporary or Permanent Wage Replacement Benefits

Workers who miss seven days of work due to an injury or occupational illness are entitled to temporary wage loss compensation beginning on the 8th day. You will also receive a payment if you miss more than 21 days of work. 

These benefits are tax-free and calculated using the pre-injury weekly wage. These benefits have a 500-week maximum cap unless the incapacity is so severe, like amputation injuries, that it results in permanent disability. 

Authorized Medical Treatments

Employers are responsible for paying for all medical treatments due to a work injury or occupational illness. The worker doesn't owe any co-payments or deductibles and should not use their private health insurance to cover work injuries. This benefit has no cap, and the employer must pay for authorized past, present, and future treatments. 

Permanent Partial Disability Benefits

Employers are required to pay permanent partial disability benefits when a workplace injury results in the loss of a specific body part, vision, hearing, or scarring and disfigurement. To be eligible, the employee must get an impairment rating after reaching the maximum medical improvement (MMI). 

The worker's condition will be assessed using the American Medical Association's Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. The amount of money the worker gets is calculated as the percentage of impairment multiplied by the compensation rate and the number of weeks assigned to the injury.

Death Benefits For Surviving Dependents

Surviving dependents of a worker who died due to a workplace injury or occupational illness are entitled to the following: 

  • Up to 500 weeks of payment
  • Burial expenses up to $10,000 
  • Transportation expenses up to $1,000 

Vocational Rehabilitation Services

After reaching your MMI and you're still unable to return to work, you can request your employer to assist with vocational rehabilitation services. These can be job search assistance, on-the-job training, payment for education expenses, and so on. 

Frequently Asked Questions

You can check out this list of frequently asked questions if you still want to learn more.

Who pays for my health insurance while on workers' compensation in Virginia?

Your employer is still responsible for paying for health insurance and giving you other work-related benefits, even if you're filing a claim due to a workplace injury. 

How long does workers' compensation last? 

There's no limit to how long you can receive workers' compensation if the doctor hasn't cleared you of your medical treatments. Workers' compensation covers initial, ongoing, and future treatments such as psychological and rehabilitation treatments.

How do I file workers' compensation in Virginia?

A claim can be filed in person, by mail, by fax, or online using WebFile

What is the waiting period for workers' compensation in Virginia?

Within seven days of the incident, the waiting period begins. Compensation begins on the 8th, but the first seven days can be paid if the injury lasts more than 21 days.

Can you be fired while on workers' compensation in Virginia?

It is illegal to be fired from work while receiving workers' compensation. Employers also can't discriminate against an injured worker who files a claim. 

Suppose you have been injured while at work; you can file a claim with Social Security. Check out this post on What Process Social Security Uses to Evaluate Claims

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Cheri Hermanson
Cheri leads our team of writers in producing the best quality content there is regarding society and disability, most especially those that helps ease the quality of life for our differently-abled loved ones.
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