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How does workers’ compensation work in Virginia?

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2020 | Workers' Compensation Blog Post |

You have the right to seek financial compensation after a workplace injury in Virginia. Workers’ compensation covers medical care, lost wages and sometimes other costs associated with the injury.

If you or a loved one has become disabled after an illness or injury caused  by your job, learn more about the workers’ compensation process in Virginia.

Filing a workers’ comp claim

When you suffer an injury at work or receive a diagnosis of a work-related disease, you must let your employer know right away. The law requires you to report an illness or injury within 30 days. You have two years to file a workers’ comp claim in Virginia. You can do so in person, by mail, by fax or online.

Obtaining medical care

You are responsible for the cost of care obtained before letting your employer know about your injury or illness. Once you give notice, the law prohibits medical creditors from contacting you to collect on past-due bills associated with your workplace accident.

Your employer should provide a panel of at least three approved physicians. You can see a doctor chosen from this list at no charge for care related to your workplace illness or injury. If your claim is denied, or you are not offered a panel of physicians, you may receive treatment with whomever you choose.

Understanding benefits

Depending on the nature of your injury or illness, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will cover:

  • Medical care associated with the work-related disease or injury for life, including prescription drugs and the cost of traveling to doctor’s appointments, provided the treatment is reasonable, necessary and causally related to your injury or disease
  • Temporary total or partial disability to cover your wages while you cannot work
  • Permanent partial disability to compensate for severe brain injury, paralysis, or loss of eyes, legs, feet, arms or hands, or loss of of use to a body part
  • Funeral expenses if your loved one died in a workplace accident or from a disease caused by employment exposure

All Virginia businesses that have at least three employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer does not have this type of policy, you can file a complaint with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (VWCC).