I was hurt on the job. What am I going to be paid if I have to go out of work?

Once you are hurt at work, the question becomes what happens next? Do I get my full pay while being out on workers’ compensation? Who is responsible for paying my wages once I am out of work? Is there a cap on what I can receive? The short answer is that workers’ compensation lost wages do not pay full wages. The workers’ compensation insurance carrier will be responsible for paying for your lost wages. What an injured worker receives while out on workers’ comp will depend on the average weekly wage calculated.

The injured worker’s average weekly wage, in general, is calculated by going back one year before the work injury, calculating the four quarters of work, taking the three highest earnings quarters and averaging them out. This is the usual process for calculating average weekly wage. If an injured worker worked less than a year, seasonal employment, union jobs with periods of layoff, multiple jobs, or other employment nuances, there may be different ways of calculating the average weekly wage. In other words, the highest three quarters averaged the year before the date of injury is not a blanket approach for all cases but will be for a majority of them.

Once the injured worker’s average weekly wage is established, the compensation rate is applied to that number. There are usually three different brackets of rates that change annually. So much like the calculation of the average weekly wage is dependent on specific factors of a case, the rate applied to that average weekly is dependent on what year the injury occurred and the amount the average weekly wage is for the worker. Of note, once the compensation rate is established, it does not change year to year with inflation.

In general, injured workers can expect ⅔ of their average weekly wage to be paid as compensation. However, this is not true in every case. If the injured worker is a lower wage earner, they will receive a higher percentage of their average weekly wage, usually 90%. On the flipside, if it is a higher wage earner, it will be capped at a certain statewide rate, even if it is less than ⅔ of the average weekly wage. So the percentage rate of the average weekly wage injured workers receive depends on the year of injury and the amount of the weekly wage.

If you are unsure if your compensation rate is being calculated properly, it would be smart to contact a lawyer. Our office is open 24/7 waiting to take your call.

If you have more questions, you can check out our video or contact the firm to speak directly with a lawyer today: