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Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Virginia

Workers' Compensation Insurance in Virginia

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If your business has employees in the state of Virginia, you’ll need to make sure you adhere to Virginia’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance laws. Workers’ Compensation provides medical and financial benefits for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses or for their survivors in the case of an employee death.

Who needs Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Virginia?

Virginia requires all employers with over two part-time or full-time employees to obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance. In Virginia, an “employee” is generally defined as any individual who is in the service of an employer under any contract of hire or apprenticeship, written or implied, lawfully or unlawfully employed.

The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA) defines all of the requirements for Workers’ Comp in Virginia, and the  Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (VWC) monitors, enforces, and administers the program. Ensuring your company is in compliance is critical, as there are serious penalties and fines for those who fail to abide by state regulations.

What employees are covered under Workers’ Compensation in Virginia?

Almost all workers are covered under Workers’ Compensation in Virginia. If you are in the service of another under any contract of hire or apprenticeship, you will likely be eligible for Workers’ Compensation Insurance. 

The following are categories of employees that are eligible for Workers’ Comp coverage:

The following are categories of employees that are generally excluded from Workers’ Comp coverage:

What Workers’ Compensation benefits do employees receive?

Under Workers’ Compensation in Virginia, employers are required to provide the following benefits to employees who are injured in the course of employment:

Medical Benefits

Temporary Total Disability Benefits 

Temporary Partial Disability Benefits

Permanent Partial Disability Benefits

Permanent Total Disability Benefits

Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

In Virginia, an injured employee may be entitled to the following vocational rehabilitation benefits:

Death Benefits 

What are the penalties for breaking Virginia Workers’ Compensation laws?

Failure to adhere to the Workers’ Compensation laws set out by the WCA can result in significant fines and even imprisonment. In order to avoid any costly penalties, it’s important to consult the WCA or your insurer to ensure you are in compliance. Below are the major ways in which companies can be penalized:

Failure to Secure Coverage

Failure to Report

Failure to Pay Benefits 


How much does Workers’ Compensation Insurance cost in Virginia?

According to the National Academy of Social Insurance Workers’ Compensation Report (November 2020), the average employer cost for Workers’ Compensation in Virginia was $0.74 per $100 of covered wages. This figure is estimated across all insurers and all industries, so the cost to your particular business may vary.

How does the Workers’ Compensation claims process work in Virginia?

An injured employee must give immediate notice to their employer about their injury. If notice is not given within 30 days, the employee may not be eligible to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits. Following the notice, employers are required to file a First Report of Injury within 10 days. 

Once an injured employee files a claim, the VWC sends out an Award order to all parties. If a claim is denied, a hearing may be scheduled. A written decision, otherwise known as a Judicial Opinion, is mailed to all involved parties after a case is heard. Any party has 30 days from the date the Judicial opinion is issued to file an appeal with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. 

Virginia Workers’ Compensation Insurance Resources

For more information on Virginia Workers’ Compensation laws and requirements, please visit the following resources:

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