In Virginia, workers compensation benefits are paid based on your Average Weekly Wage (or AWW). This is how the workers comp weekly rate of pay is determined.
Calculating Your Average Weekly Wages
To calculate your average weekly wage, you first need to take ALL of the wages you earned at your job from the 52 weeks prior to the date of the injury (this means your gross earnings, including any bonuses, overtime and per diem pay), add them up and divide the total by 52. This will give you your average weekly wage.
You can also go to the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission’s website and print out the Wage Chart. This is a worksheet that will help you work through these figures.
Workers’ Compensation Pay Rates
Once you have determined your average weekly pay (as explained above) then you will need to multiply that number by 0.66 (two-thirds), and this is the rate that workers’ compensation lost wages are paid at.
Minimum & Maximum Workers’ Compensation Pay Rates
The Virginia Workers Compensation Commission does set minimum and maximum compensation rates for lost wage benefits. As of July 1, 2018, the maximum compensation rate has been set at $1,082.00 and the minimum compensation rate has been set at $270.50.
Who Pays Workers Compensation Benefits?
The workers’ compensation insurance carrier pays the medical and lost wage benefits. Some insurance carrier’s offer direct deposit, however most of them will send you a live check via US Mail.
When are Lost Wage Benefits Paid?
In Virginia, lost wage benefits are paid only after a doctor has kept you out of work with a doctor’s note for a period of MORE THAN 7 days. If you are out of work for 7 days or less OR if you don’t have a doctor’s note, you will not be paid any lost wage benefits by the insurance carrier. If the doctor keeps you out of work for 21 days or more, then the insurance carrier can pay you for the first 7 days as well, however this will not be paid until the 21 day requirement is met.
About the Author: Michele Lewane
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.