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Virginia Workers Compensation

If you have been injured on the job or diagnosed with an occupational injury, you may be entitled to benefits such as medical treatment and replacement wages under Virginia workers' compensation laws. U.S. government employees are also entitled to workers' comp benefits under federal laws. A workers' compensation attorney can help ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve.

Are You Covered by Workers' Compensation Insurance?

In Virginia, all employers with at least three employees are required to provide workers' compensation insurance to employees beginning on their first day of employment. Employers pay the full cost of workers' comp premiums and must provide coverage to part-time and full-time employees.

Employers with fewer than three employees may voluntarily provide workers' comp insurance. Companies that operate coal mines must provide coverage regardless of how many employees they have.

What Injuries Are Covered?

Injuries typically covered by workers' comp include:

  • Traumatic physical injuries
  • Repeated trauma injuries
  • Mental injuries
  • Occupational disease

What Workers' Compensation Benefits Can You Receive?

If you are hurt at work or diagnosed with an occupational injury, you may be entitled to benefits that include:

  • Lifetime medical care for the work-related injury or illness
  • Temporary disability benefits designed to partially or totally replace lost wages if you were unable to work for more than seven days or if you return to work doing a lighter job at a lower wage
  • Permanent disability benefits designed to at least partially replace lost wages
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Death benefits
  • Cost of living increases

If you receive workers' compensation following an injury, you cannot sue your employer for additional compensation in connection with your injury. You may, however, be able to file a lawsuit against others involved in your injury. A workers' compensation lawyer or personal injury attorney can advise you of your legal options.

Filing a Workers' Comp Claim

By law, you must file a claim for workers' comp benefits with the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission within two years of your injury or disease diagnosis.

You should also promptly notify your employer and seek medical treatment.

If your claim is denied, you can request a hearing before the Commission. Your lawyer can guide you through the appeals process.

Workers' Compensation for Federal Employees & Others

Federal government employees working in Virginia, as well as state residents who work in other industries may be covered under one of several federal workers' compensation programs:

  • The Federal Employees' Compensation Act covers federal employees and postal workers for job-related injuries and diseases
  • The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act covers U.S. Department of Energy employees, predecessor agencies, contractors, and subcontractors who are ill as a result of working with nuclear weapons
  • The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act and related acts, including the Defense Base Act, cover maritime workers
  • The Black Lung Benefits Act provides compensation to miners totally disabled by black lung disease as well as their survivors
    • Find & Hire Local Virginia Workers' Compensation Attorneys

      Need help locating a workers' comp lawyer in your area? can help. Whether you live in Arlington, Richmond or elsewhere in Virginia, our free legal referral service can quickly match you with local workers' comp attorneys. To get started, complete the form on this page or call us at 877-913-7222.