[Richmond, VA]- Today, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (VWC) released its 2021 Annual Report. The report provides a summary of key initiatives, trends and outcomes for the Commonwealth’s workers’ compensation system and other programs administered by the Commission. The annual report can be viewed or downloaded by clicking here and a highlights video is available here.
“Through another year of extraordinary circumstances, the Commission remained steady across all service levels, while also achieving growth in automation of services and system upgrades to better serve our stakeholders," said VWC’s Chairman, Robert A. Rapaport. “A highlight of the year, was the implementation of our Ombuds Department and reinstating in-person services as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic."
There were 48,201 major workplace injuries and 69,080 minor workplace injuries reported in 2021. A breakdown by Virginia localities can be seen here. The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Team conducted over 4,400 events. Additionally, of the 34,751 claim forms processed, 82% were hearing-level requests resulting in 722 appellate decisions rendered.
Key highlights noted in the 2021 Annual Report include:
- Recognition as a 2021 Top Workplace in Virginia;
- Continued success in the Judicial Division’s Alternative Dispute Resolution mediation program, with an 85% success rate for Full and Final Mediations, along with a 5% increase in Issue Mediations from 2020;
- Completion of various recommendations from the 2019 Joint Legislative and Review Commission (JLARC) study, including implementation of an Ombuds Office;
- Completion of enhanced technology, offering new applications and enhanced functionality of multiple department applications;
- Continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic including the operation of a Commission Task Force, virtual hearing and mediation options, health and safety protocols and continuation of a Commission-wide Team telework initiative;
- Growth of VWC's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative to include six sub-committees and national presentations;
- Recognition of agency employees receiving awards from and participating on boards of national and international organizations; and
- Successful compliance with the Virginia Information Technologies Agency’s (VITA) information security standards.
The report also features the financial results of the agency and the Virginia Victims Fund (officially the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund) for Fiscal Year 2021, as well as a look ahead to its 2022 initiatives.
About The Commission
The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (VWC), established in 1918, is an independent judicial and administrative state agency that oversees the workers’ compensation system for employees, employers, and insurers. VWC interprets and applies the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act and resolves claims through hearings and mediation.
The Commission is led by a Senior Leadership team consisting of three Commissioners, an Executive Director and a Chief Deputy Commissioner. Commissioners are selected by the General Assembly and serve six-year terms. Honorable R. Ferrell Newman, Honorable Wesley G. Marshall and Honorable Robert A. Rapaport currently serve as Commissioners. The Commissioners elect a Chairman to serve a three-year term. Commissioner Rapaport currently serves as Chairman. Ms. Evelyn V. McGill is the Commission’s Executive Director and the Honorable James J. Szablewicz is the Commission’s Chief Deputy Commissioner.
Leading the way in electronic data and claims filing systems, in 2021 VWC processed over 34,000 claims and issued over 3,000 judicial opinions. VWC also administers the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund, the Uninsured Employer’s Fund, and adjudicates claims under the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, VWC operates regional offices in Bristol, Virginia Beach, Roanoke, Harrisonburg, Manassas and Fairfax.
For more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview, please email Charles Steepleton or call 877-664-2566.