What happens if I lose permanent function of a body part?

A: When a job related injury results in the loss of use of a certain body part or parts that are specifically included in the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act, an injured worker may be eligible to collect benefits for the loss of use of that body part or parts. The amount of compensation differs depending on which body part is affected and the injured worker’s pre-injury average weekly wage.

The workers’ compensation statute lists the value of the complete loss of certain body parts. If the injured worker suffers a complete loss of one of the listed body parts, then the injured worker is entitled to the listed number of weeks of compensation. If the loss of use is not complete, the injured worker’s physician must assign a percentage value of loss to the body part. Then, the injured worker will be entitled to that percentage of the total amount assigned to the entire body part.

The following is a list of the body parts and the number of weeks assigned for full loss of use:

  • Thumb – 60 weeks of wage compensation;
  • First (index) finger – 35 weeks of’wage compensation;
  • Second finger – 30 weeks of wage compensation;
  • Third finger – 20 weeks of wage compensation;
  • Fourth (little or “pinky”) finger – 15 weeks of wage compensation;
  • First phalanx of the thumb or any other finger – one-half compensation;
  • Great (big) toe – 30 weeks of wage compensation;
  • Any other toe – 10 weeks of wage compensation;
  • First phalanx of any toe – one-half compensation;
  • Hand – 150 weeks of wage compensation;
  • Arm – 200 weeks of wage compensation;
  • Foot – 125 weeks of wage compensation;
  • Leg – 175 weeks of wage compensation;
  • Permanent total loss of the vision of an eye – 100 weeks of wage compensation;
  • Permanent total loss of hearing in an ear – 50 weeks of wage compensation; and
  • Severely marked disfigurement of the body resulting from an injury not otherwise compensated by this section – up to 60 weeks of wage compensation

Please note that necks and backs are not covered. Neither are lungs, kidneys, or other internal organs. The loss of us must be in the form of a percentage given to you by your doctor. Also, you cannot be receiving temporary total lost wage benefits at the same time. You may be able to receive temporary partial wage loss at the same time as the loss of use but it will count as two weeks of benefits against the possible 500 total benefits allowable. Usually the circumstance of when you will receive this benefit is that you have returned to work, you are at maximum medical improvement, a physical therapist has given you a Functional Capacity Evaluation with permanent restrictions and an impairment rating that your doctor has accepted.


About the Author:

The Injured Workers Law Firm is a Richmond, Virginia based firm solely focused on serving clients with workers' compensation claims in Virginia. If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” , or call our office today (804) 755-7755.