Permanent and Total Incapacity Compensation

Entitlement: Total and permanent incapacity for work is defined by Virginia regulations as “the loss of both hands, both arms, both feet, both legs, both eyes, or any injury for all practical purposes resulting in total paralysis.” If the incapacity is due to paralysis, that must be determined by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission based on medical evidence. Incapacity can also be due to a serious brain injury which is so severe that the employee becomes “permanently unemployable in gainful employment. An employee whose injuries meet these criteria is presumed by the Commission to be totally and permanently incapacitated. Benefits to these workers are paid at 2/3 of their average weekly wage. The normal 500 week limitation is not applicable to these benefits, which are paid for the worker’s lifetime.

Capacity to Work: In determining loss of use, an injured person’s capacity to undertake paid employment must be considered, unless they have suffered a total loss of use of each given member of their body. Total loss of use is defined in the law as meaning that the injured worker is unable to use the member of their body to any substantial degree in paid employment.