Under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act, employees who are injured on the job or contract work-related diseases may be eligible for certain benefits, including compensation for lost wages. If you have been injured or become sick, immediately report this to your employer. Your employer is required by law to file an appropriate report with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission within 10 days. You will then receive a notification letter directing you to file an online claim with the Commission. Your overall workers' compensation benefits depend on the details of your injury or disease. However, it is possible to calculate the weekly benefit to be paid in compensation for lost wages.
Collect your pay stubs for the 52 weeks prior to your injury. Calculate your total earnings over that period and divide the figure by 52. The resulting amount is the average weekly wage as defined under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act. If you do not yet have 52 weeks under employment, a figure will be derived using the earnings of similarly employed persons at your place of work or in the local area.
Multiply your average weekly wage by 66.66 percent. The resulting figure is your initial wage compensation amount, which is subject to certain adjustments as described below.
Visit the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission website and access the Chronological Compensation Benefits Chart. This chart lists the minimum and maximum wage compensation amounts for each calendar year. Note the minimum and maximum weekly compensation amounts in the current year. If your initial wage compensation amount falls inside this range, you will receive that amount in weekly benefits, for as long as the law provides. If your initial wage compensation amount falls outside this range, it will be adjusted accordingly.
To determine what kind of benefits you are eligible for in addition to wage compensation, visit the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission website and access the Injured Worker’s Guide (see Resources). Scroll to the section titled “Benefits Under the Act” and read through each of the seven categories. Note that you are entitled to lifetime medical benefits -- that is, the medical costs for treating your injury will be covered until such time as you no longer require treatment. Also note that you are entitled to a separate benefit in compensation for a permanent impairment or disability.
Note that each year’s minimum and maximum compensation amounts come into effect on July 1. Also note that the minimum and maximum compensation amounts for the months October through June will include a cost of living adjustment as indicated in the chart. You must make this calculation yourself.