Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system that covers workers for almost every private employer in Virginia. Although every worker is covered, many wonder, “How much does workers’ comp pay after an injury?”

Many workers rely on a workers comp payout to make ends meet while they recover from their injuries. Knowing the amount of compensation benefits they could receive will help them plan their finances until they can return to work.

Understanding the Basics of Workers’ Compensation in Virginia

Workers’ compensation is insurance. But this insurance works differently than other insurance policies you’re familiar with. Your employer pays the premiums, but the policy covers you and your fellow workers.

You will notify your employer of any on-the-job injury or occupational disease you suffer. The employer starts the claim process by notifying its insurer. Insurers pay two types of benefits upon accepting the claim.

First, the insurer pays medical benefits. These benefits include payments for:

  • Doctor’s visits
  • Hospital stays
  • Laboratory testing
  • Physical therapy
  • Prescription drugs
  • Prostheses

Virginia workers’ comp will also pay for specialists and even reimburse you for mileage for medical appointments.

Second, if you miss at least seven days of work, the insurer will pay wage replacement benefits starting with your eighth day out of work. If you miss more than 21 days of work, you receive back wages for the initial seven-day waiting period.

Wage Replacement

How much does workers’ comp pay? The wage replacement benefits you might receive will depend on the extent of your injury.

Temporary Total Disability

Temporary total disabilities (TTDs) happen when your injury prevents you from performing all work duties, but the expectation is that you will eventually recover. When you experience a TTD, your wage replacement benefit equals two-thirds — or 66.67% — of your average wage over the 52 weeks before your injury.

Temporary Partial Disability

Temporary partial disability (TPD) occurs when you can work but not at full capacity. This often occurs when your doctor restricts you from certain activities. For example, you may be able to work as long as you do not lift anything.

TPD benefits equal two-thirds of the difference between your wages during your disability and your average wage over the 52 weeks before your injury. So for example, suppose that you earned $580 a week before your injury and $400 after your injury. The difference is $180 per week, and two-thirds of that is $120 per week. This TPD benefit will supplement the $400 per week you earn.

Permanent Partial Disability

Permanent partial disability (PPD) happens when you suffer an injury that will never improve but does not prevent you from working. An amputated hand would qualify as a permanent partial disability.

To calculate your PPD benefits, you must first calculate two-thirds of your pre-injury average wage. You then look up the compensation period for your injury in Virginia’s statutes, and you obtain a disability rating from your treating physician. Then multiply all of these numbers.

For example, suppose that your weekly wage was $1,000 before you lost your hand. The compensation period for a lost hand is 150 weeks. You might receive a 50% disability rating. When you multiply all the factors together, you get $50,000.

Permanent Total Disability

Permanent total disabilities (PTDs) occur when a worker suffers an injury that will not improve and prevents them from any gainful employment. You can calculate PTD wage benefits by multiplying two-thirds of your average weekly wage by the number of weeks remaining in your lifetime.


When workers die from work-related injuries or diseases, their families receive death benefits. Death benefits include up to $10,000 reimbursement for funeral and burial expenses. The family also receives wage benefits equal to two-thirds of the average weekly wage for the expected remainder of the worker’s life had they not died.

Limits and Maximums

Virginia law caps wage benefits in several ways:

Time Limits

You can receive up to 500 weeks of TTD or TPD payments. Your wage benefits can end earlier if you regain your full functions. If you reach maximum medical improvement or have not recovered by the end of your 500 weeks of benefits, you may request a hearing to get PTD or PPD benefits.

Maximum Rate

Virginia also caps the maximum compensation rate. Recall that your compensation rate is two-thirds of your average weekly wage. If you calculate your compensation rate and it is higher than the maximum set for that year, you receive only the maximum rate even though it would be less than two-thirds of your average weekly wage.

In 2023, the maximum rate was $1,343.00. If your average weekly wage is more than $2,014.50, you will only receive the maximum rate even though this amount is less than two-thirds of your wage.

Factors That Influence Workers’ Comp Payouts in Virginia

The factors that will affect your payout include:

  • Was your injury permanent?
  • How severe was your injury?
  • Can you still work while injured?
  • What was your average weekly wage for the 52 weeks before the injury?

These factors will go directly into the formula for calculating your wage replacement benefit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to questions people ask about workers’ comp benefits:

Are Workers’ Compensation Wage Replacement Benefits Taxed?

No, neither the IRS nor the Commonwealth of Virginia taxes workers’ compensation wage benefits.

What Is Maximum Medical Improvement?

Maximum medical improvement happens when your doctor determines that your condition will not improve and any remaining disabilities are permanent. This can trigger PTD or PPD benefits.

How Are Disability Ratings Assigned?

If you are partially disabled, your disability rating is assigned by your doctor based on which body part you injured and how severely your injuries affect its function.

Learn About Benefits From a Virginia Workers’ Comp Attorney

Every workers’ comp case involves a unique wage benefits calculation because the factors used to determine the amount depend on the details of your case. Contact Commonwealth Law to discuss the answer to the question, “How much does workers’ comp pay?”

If you have been injured at work or through the negligence of another individual or entity, contact us at (804) 999-9999 or or use the form below to connect with our legal team. We will fight to get you the justice you deserve.