Virginia Workers’ Compensation Laws

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Mar 30, 2011

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Virginia workers’ compensation laws pertain to claims for benefits that workers make when they have been injured on the job or when they have developed occupational diseases.

Claims under Virginia Workers’ Compensation Laws

Injuries Caused by Work Accidents: When accidents happen at work and you are injured as a result of one of those workplace mishaps, your injuries are covered by Virginia workers’ compensation insurance. However, spinal, neck, and/or back injuries are not covered by Virginia workers’ compensation insurance. Additionally, if an employee was on drugs or drinking alcohol at the time he was injured, or if his injuries were self-inflicted, he will not be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Virginia.

Occupational Illnesses: If you become sick because of the duties you perform at work or because you have been exposed to hazardous conditions at work, your illness may be considered occupational and thus make you eligible for Virginia workers’ compensation benefits.

Death: When an employee is injured at work or develops an occupational disease and later dies, his dependents will receive death benefits to make up for his lost wages.

Virginia Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Medical Treatment: If you have been injured in an employment accident, or if you develop an illness because of your work environment or duties, your employer’s insurer must pay for the medical treatment required to treat your injury or illness. Bills you incur in getting your condition treated should be sent to your employer’s insurer.

Death Benefits: If an employee dies because of his workplace disease or injury, his surviving relatives are entitled to death benefits. Additionally, burial costs are payable to cover the cost of the funeral. Burial costs cannot be more than $10,000 and cannot exceed $1,000 for associated transportation costs.

Income Benefits: Benefits to replace lost income are a potentially important part of many workers’ compensation claims. These benefits fit into one of four categories:

1) Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD): TTD may be available when it is completely impossible for a worker to perform his normal work duties because his injury prevents him from doing so. 2/3 of his weekly wage will be paid to the injured worker each week up to a maximum amount.

2) Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD): Paid to the injured employee when he cannot do his old work, but can do work in a reduced capacity or for a reduced number of hours. Such an injured worker will be eligible to receive 2/3 of his average weekly wage.

3) Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD): If your injury or illness will always make it impossible to work, you will receive workers’ compensation benefits for life at 2/3 of the wage you received prior to your injury or the onset of your illness, payable each week.

4) Permanent Partial Impairment Benefits (PPI): PPI is applicable when you have reached a level of maximum medical improvement that allows you to do some work, but have still lost the function of part of your body permanently and can only work at a reduced wage. The amount of workers’ compensation benefits you receive and the amount of time for which you receive them depends on the percentage of loss caused by your injury.

Virginia Workers’ Compensation Statutes

For the full text of all Virginia workers’ compensation statutes, including those relevant ones listed below, see the online version of the Code of Virginia.

Employers Subject To Workers’ Compensation: Workers’ Compensation, Title 65.2, Chp.1 §§ 101-104; Covered Employees: Workers’ Compensation, Title 65.2, Chp.1 §§ 101-104; Benefits: Workers’ Compensation, Title 65.2, Chp.5 §§ 500-531; Claims Procedure: Workers’ Compensation, Title 65.2, Chp.6 §§ 600-607.

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