In this paper, we employ the virtual element method for the numerical solution of linear thermo-elastic problems in two dimensions. The framework is implemented within the commercial software Abaqus using its user element feature. The implementation details of the virtual element method in Abaqus-Matlab software framework are described. The corresponding details on the input data format, which forms the core of the analysis, are given. Both linear and quadratic elements are used within the virtual element framework. A few benchmark problems from linear thermo-elasticity are solved to validate the implementation. © 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.