Workers Compensation in Vermont

Posted December 6th, 2018 by Jason Metz

Vermont requires all businesses to have workers comp for employees, with only a few exceptions.

Workers compensation insurance typically pays medical bills and some lost income for an employee who's hurt while performing a job-related task. Broken bones, carpal tunnel and breathing problems are types of work injuries that can usually be covered by workers comp.

Vermont workers compensation law defines the limits of workers comp payments, as well as details of who must be covered and who can be exempt from coverage. The Vermont Department of Labor also has a page with helpful information for employers.

Who has to be covered by Vermont workers compensation?

Can any employees opt out of Vermont workers compensation with a waiver?

Yes - waivers are permitted for up to four corporate officers or LLC members, members of employee's family residing with the employer and all employees on farms with less than $10,000 in total annual payroll.

Is self-insurance for workers comp allowed in Vermont?

Yes, for individual employers, groups of employers and political subdivisions. Political subdivisions in Vermont are typically the state or a city, county, special district, school district or public agency.

By self-insuring, a business assumes responsibility for paying their own workers comp claims. A self-insured company typically hires a claims service company to handle claims administration and other services.

Are there exclusions for:

Small employers? No.

Agricultural employers? Yes, if the total annual payroll is less than $10,000. The total payroll includes the fair market value of housing and other amenities provided to the worker. If the total payroll is less than $10,000, the agricultural employer may choose not to provide workers compensation insurance.

Domestic employers? Yes, a homeowner is not required to provide workers compensation insurance for work performed in or about the homeowner-employer dwelling.

Independent contractors? Yes.

Casual employees? Yes.

Volunteers? No.

Professional athletes? No.

Vermont workers comp medical benefits

Is there a Vermont workers comp fee schedule?


Fee schedules define payments for surgery, radiology, hospital services, chiropractic care, ambulance service, prescription drugs and other medical services for an injured worker.

Are there limits on medical treatment?

Yes, reasonable and necessary.

Who makes the initial choice of treating physician?

The employee.

Disability payments for workers compensation insurance in Vermont

Workers comp generally pays a worker some lost wages if they cannot work because of a job-related injury. Based on both temporary and permanent disability, state laws specify limits on the disability payment amounts and length.

How are temporary total disability (TTD) payments calculated?

66 2/3% of the employee's pre-injury wage, plus $10 per week per dependent.

Weekly minimum: $408

Weekly maximum: $1,1224

Maximum length of TDD benefits: For the duration of TTD, though the insurer must review after two years.

How are permanent total disability (PTD) payments calculated?

66 2/3% of the employee's pre-injury wage, subject to a minimum and maximum.

Weekly minimum: $408

Weekly maximum: $1,124

Are there cost of living increases for PTD payments? Increases each July 1st based upon the statewide average weekly wage (SAWW) increase.

Maximum length of PTD benefits: For the duration of the PTD and can be for life.

How are permanent partial disability (PPD) payments calculated?

66 ⅔% of the employee's average weekly wage, subject to a minimum and maximum.

Weekly minimum: $408

Weekly maximum: $1,124

Fatality benefits under Vermont workers compensation law

Maximum burial benefit: $10,000

Dependency benefits, weekly minimum / maximum: $408/$1,124

When do children's dependency benefits end? At age 18; there is no age limit if the child is enrolled in an approved educational or vocational training institution; benefits can continue if child is disabled.

Other injuries covered by Vermont workers compensation

Mental stress with no physical injury? Yes.

Cumulative trauma (such as injuries caused by repeated exposure or repetitive motion)? Yes.

Occupational hearing loss? Yes.

Disfigurement? Yes.

Source: Workers Compensation Research Institute, May 2016 report