All COVID-19 Related Updates From The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (VWC) and More

SPECIAL EDITION | Coronavirus & Comp Updates

The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (VWC) is responsible for carrying out the requirements of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act, while administering Virginia's workers’ compensation program, meeting legal requirements and providing various protections.

Also included are relevant updates from other organizations, such as the WCIO.  

We will continually update this article as announcements are made. Summaries appear below.

05/21/2020 - Commission Issues Order to Resume In-Person Hearings

04/30/2020 - VWC Commission Moves Forward with Converting All Hearings Scheduled May 1 - June 10 to Video Hearings

04/20/2020 - VWC Headquarters Will Reopen April 21st, 2020

04/07/2020 - VWC Headquarters Closed Until Further Notice

04/06/2020-VWC | Special Order to Conduct Evidentiary Hearings via Video Conference

03/27/2020-VWC | All Commission Regional Offices Will be Closed Until Further Notice

03/26/2020-VWC | Update to Commission Rule 1.7(C)(3) [Notary Requirements]

03/26/2020-WCIO | New EDI Codes are Available for Reporting COVID-19 Claims

03/25/2020 - VWC | In-Person Mediations and Hearings Cancelled through April 30th


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VWC Headquarters Will Reopen April 21st, 2020

From the VWC Website (abridged): ‘‘The Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission (VWC) will reopen its headquarters on April 21, 2020, with minimal occupancy of employees performing critical functions. The facility remains closed to the public to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

The Commission’s Clerk’s Office and mail operations will also reopen on April 21st. Parties are strongly encouraged to file documents by fax (804-823-6957) or through WebFile.  In accordance with Va. Code Sec. 1-210(B), the filing deadline for any item required to be filed with the Commission during the period in which the Clerk’s Office was closed is extended to April 21st. During office hours, visitors will use a drop box located in front of the Commission's headquarters for subpoenas and hand delivered filings.’’

Read Full Announcement


VWC Headquarters Closed Until Further Notice

From the VWC Website: ‘‘The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (VWC) has confirmed that an agency employee is exhibiting symptoms for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and is symptomatic as defined by the Centers for Disease Control. The last date of contact with the employee occurred on March 20th. VWC leadership is working closely with the Virginia Department of Health and has made appropriate notifications to VWC employees and others who may have also been exposed.

As a precautionary measure, the Commission headquarters, located at 333 E. Franklin Street, Richmond, Virginia will close on April 7, 2020 until further notice for cleaning and disinfection.

Although the Commission's Clerk’s Office is closed, parties may continue to file documents by fax or WebFile. However, in accordance with Va. Code Sec. 1-21 O(B) the filing deadline for any item required to be filed with the Commission during the period in which the Clerk’s Office is closed is extended to the next business day on which the Clerk's Office is open.

During this time, VWC is continuing to serve our customers:

  • Our Customer Contact Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. at 1-877-664-2566.
  • Employees are teleworking, continuing as many business operations as possible.
  • Our WebFile system remains operational.
  • We are working closely with stakeholders to accommodate upcoming hearing and mediation schedules.
  • Please check our website for important updates.

The Commission is dedicated to being responsive to the health and safety of its employees and visitors. Please check our website for important updates as this situation evolves.’’

 Download Notice


Video hearingVWC | Special Order to Conduct Evidentiary Hearings via Video Conference

On April 6, 2020, the Commission issued the attached Order regarding to conduct evidentiary hearings via video conference.

 Download Order


VWC | All Commission Regional Offices Will be Closed Until Further Notice

From the VWC Website (abridged): ‘‘Regional office employees will begin teleworking, continuing as many business operations as possible.

In response to recommendations concerning COVID-19, starting March 30th, all Commission regional offices, will be closed until further notice. Regional offices are located in Bristol, Fairfax, Harrisonburg, Manassas, Roanoke and Virginia Beach. 

During this time, VWC is committed to continuing to serve our customers:

  • Our website and WebFile remain operational.
  • Our Customer Contact Center is still available for calls at 1-877-664-2566.
  • We are working closely with stakeholders to accommodate upcoming hearing and mediation schedules.

If you have additional questions about an upcoming hearing, please contact the Deputy Commissioner's Office located on your Notice of Hearing, or contact VWC's Customer Contact Center at 1-877-664-2566.

The Commission is working diligently to assist our customers as needed. If you have any other questions, please contact VWC at 1-877-664-2566 or email: questions@workcomp.virginia.gov.’’


NotaryVWC | Notary Changes to Settlement Documents

On 3/26/20 the Commission entered an Order temporarily suspending the requirement that the claimant notarize the settlement affidavit.  

View Order Changing Rule 1.7.


electronic dataWCIO Announces EDI Reporting Changes

New Codes for Reporting COVID-19 Claims

The Commission announced on 3/26/20 that new EDI codes are available for reporting COVID-19 claims effective December 2019 and later.

*New* Cause of Injury Code (DN0037) - 83 for “Pandemic”

*New* Nature of Injury Code (DN0035) - 83 for “COVID-19” were approved. 

The IAIABC recommends that EDI reporting and collection systems be modified to recognize these new codes by April 1, 2020.

View the New Injury Description Tables.


VWC | In-Person Mediations and Hearings Cancelled through April 30th

However, there are telephonic and videoconference options that may serve as good substitutes for mediation. 

The Commission extended the in-person hearings and mediation cancellations through April 30th and included the following guidance:

  • The Commission remains open for all other business and therefore there is no change at this time in policy or procedure with regard to timely filing, statutes of limitation, or other statutory or rule based time limitations.
  • All parties affected will be contacted by the Commission as soon as possible to reschedule. 
  • The Commission continues to accept electronic signatures for these forms: Claim For Benefits, Award Agreement, Fatal Award Agreement, Termination of Wage Loss and Employer's Application.

View the original memo issued on March 24, 2020.


Read other publications in our Coronavirus & Comp Update Special Edition

Coronavirus and Workers’ Compensation in Virginia

Part 1 - A ‘Disease’

Part 2 - Similarities with a Tuberculosis Case

Part 3 - First Responder Presumption Cases

Part 4: Presumption Claims and the Unknown Effects of Coronavirus

 

Visit our COVID-19 Legal Resources

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Workers’ Compensation Practice Group at McCandlish Holton defends workers’ compensation claims in all areas of Virginia from initial investigation to the trial and appellate levels of litigation. 

We carefully balance aggressive advocacy with skilled diplomacy to successfully resolve claims. Contact Us.