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Types of Virginia Workers' Compensation Benefits

Richmond Work Accident Attorneys

In Virginia, workers’ compensation benefits include payment of medical costs, temporary and permanent disability payments, vocational rehabilitation and training, and death benefits. If you qualify for benefits, you will be paid according to your “average weekly wage” before the accident. To calculate your average weekly wage, the Commission will add up all of your wages earned in the 52 weeks prior to the accident, and divide the number by 52. In Virginia, the weekly minimum workers' compensation benefits is $221.25 and the maximum is $885.00. The following list discusses each type of benefit in greater detail:

  • Wage Replacement (temporary total or partial): If your injury renders you temporarily unable to perform any work at all, you are entitled to 2/3 of your gross average weekly wage up to the maximum weekly limit. You must accumulate seven (7) days of disability before you will be eligible for benefits. If you are disabled for more than three weeks, however, you will be eligible to receive payment for the first seven days of disability. Wage replacement benefits are only payable for 500 weeks unless you are deemed totally and permanently disabled. If your injury prevents you from returning to regular work and you are given a light duty job at a lower wage, you will receive benefits in the amount of 2/3 of the difference between your pre-injury wage and your current pay. You will not be eligible for cost of living supplements if you are receiving temporary partial benefits.

  • Lifetime Medical Benefits: Any medical expenses incurred to treat or cure conditions caused by the injury or occupational illness are payable for as long as medical care is necessary, provided you filed a claim within two years of the accident or the date you were informed of the illness. In order to be paid medical benefits, you must select a doctor from the three-physician panel provided by your employer. If your employer does not provide a panel after being notified of the accident, you are free to seek treatment from a physician of your choice. Once a physician has been selected, you may not change physicians without approval from your employer or a hearing before the Commission.

  • Permanent Partial Impairment: You may be eligible to receive additional benefits if you have suffered a permanent loss of use of a body part. This includes loss of use of an arm, leg, digit, or eye, but does not include the back, neck or body as a whole. Permanent partial impairment benefits are payable only for a specific number of weeks, which is determined by the percentage of loss of use of that body part. To view the payment schedule for loss of use of different body parts, click here. You may receive these benefits even while you are working and even if you have reached maximum medical improvement.

  • Permanent Total Disability: Permanent total disability prevents you from performing the work you performed before the accident for the rest of your life. You will be eligible to receive lifetime wage benefits if you lose both hands, arms, feet, legs, eyes, or any two body parts in the same accident, or if you are paralyzed or sustain a severe brain injury.

  • Death Benefits: Virginia’s workers’ compensation laws provide for payment of burial expenses and lost wages to surviving family members in the event that an employee dies as a result of his or her on-the-job injury. If you suffer an injury or illness at work that later causes your death, your surviving spouse, any children under the age of 18, children under the age of 23 who are enrolled full time at an accredited college or university, and other qualifying dependents may be entitled to wage loss benefits. In addition, death benefits may include burial expenses (not to exceed $10,000) plus $1,000 for transportation costs.

  • Cost of Living Increase: If you qualify for and are receiving temporary total, permanent total or death benefits, you are also entitled to cost of living increases, which are effective October 1 of each year if you are receiving less than 80% of your pre-injury earnings.

  • Vocational Rehabilitation: Vocational rehabilitation provides training to perform a different job if the injury sustained prevents you from returning to the same job after the accident.

If you are injured on the job, you may be compensated with one or any combination of the above benefits, depending on the severity of your injuries, the length of time (if any) that the injury causes you to miss work, and the extent to which your injuries prevent you from performing your job functions. For more information on the types of workers' compensation benefits you may be entitled to in Virginia, contact Schilling & Esposito at (804) 261-1001 in Richmond or toll-free at 1-888-484-HURT to discuss your case with an experienced Richmond work injury attorney or click here to fill out our free online case submission form.


The Richmond workers' compensation attorneys at Schilling & Esposito handle all types of workplace injury cases throughout Central Virginia. If you have sustained an on-the-job injury at work, call (804) 261-1001 in Richmond or toll-free at 1-888-484-HURT to discuss your case with an experienced Virginia workers' compensation lawyer, or click here to submit your case to us for a free review. We know Virginia Workers' Compensation law, and our Richmond workers' comp attorneys will fight to get you maximum compensation for your injuries.