DI 52120.260 Virgin Islands Workers' Compensation (WC)
All Virgin Islands WC is paid from their exclusive fund. Private carriers are not allowed.
A. Types of Virgin Islands WC payments
WC payments are based on two-thirds of the Virgin Islands average weekly wage and are limited by law to a maximum amount that is based on the date of injury. The minimum amount is $60 per week (or the actual pre-injury weekly wage, if less).
1. Temporary Total (TT)
TT benefits are based on two-thirds of the worker’s weekly wage rate at the time of injury. TT is paid for the duration of the disability or until maximum medical improvement is reached.
2. Temporary Partial (TP)
TP benefits are based on one-half the difference between the average amount earned before the injury and the average amount the worker is earning or able to earn after the injury. TP is payable until the injured worker is returned to full employment or until maximum improvement is reached.
3. Permanent Total (PT)
PT benefits are based on two-thirds of the worker’s weekly wage rate at the time of injury. PT is paid for the duration of the disability.
4. Permanent Partial (PP) Scheduled Awards
PP scheduled awards are paid when an injury or illness results in loss of use of certain members of the body. This type of PP WC is computed by multiplying the worker’s percentage of loss by the number of weeks for full disability of that part of the body as designated in their statutory schedule (found in Title 24, Chapter 11, Section 254c[b]). That number of weeks is then multiplied by the WC rate to give the award amount.
5. PP Unscheduled Awards
PP unscheduled awards are paid for permanent disability from internal injuries, back injuries, or other injuries not specifically listed in the schedule. It is based on the percentage of partial disability to the body as a whole. The maximum award for an unscheduled injury is 200 weeks. Payments are made in monthly installments and are in addition to TT WC. They begin when the TT ends. Lump sum payments of this WC type are not allowed by law.
6. PP Disfigurement benefits
The Virgin Islands do pay for disability based upon disfigurement unless scheduled benefits are paid or payable for a particular member or organ (see ‘PP Scheduled Awards above). These benefits may not exceed 100 weeks, and are in addition to other awarded WC.
7. Lump Sum payments
Lump sum payments are rare because lump sums are only made after a case goes to an adjudicator, if necessary.
B. Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs)
In any case where a totally disabled person is presently receiving the maximum weekly income benefit rate continuously for over two years, shall have their benefits adjusted after those two years. The COLA increase takes place in January of each year.
C. Attorney fees
There is no law limiting the amount an attorney may charge.
D. Retirement insurance benefit (RIB) considerations
The Virgin Islands WC is not reduced for receipt of RIB.
E. Time limits for filing
Claims should be filed within sixty days after the injury, but the Administrator may extend the time limit if ‘good and reasonable cause’ is shown.
F. Verifying WC
Contact the Department of Labor, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to verify WC at:
53AB & 54AB Kronprindsens Gade
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, VI 00802
Phone: 340-776-3700 (TDD: 800-440-8477)