How are my lost wages calculated? If you are going to have to miss work because of a work-related injury, this is something you will want to know.
You were hurt in an accident at work. Thankfully, as mandated by law in every state except Texas, your employer had workers’ compensation insurance. A claim was made, and you were approved to start receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation provides several helpful benefits. These include paying for all of your medical bills that result from your work-related injury and rehabilitation if you need it.
One of the most important benefits provided by workers’ compensation is payment for lost wages. Naturally, you want to know how much you will receive, and you probably want to know how your lost wages will be calculated. In other words, how does workers’ compensation determine what your lost wages will be.
Workers’ compensation is a program that is run by the state, rather than the federal government. Because of this, laws regarding workers’ compensation vary from state to state.
When it comes to lost wages, in most states, your injury has to prevent you from working for at least 3 days in order to receive this benefit. In many states, the amount you receive for lost wages is two/thirds or 66 2/3% of what your average weekly wages were when you were injured.
Average weekly wage
For example, in California, you receive two/thirds of your average weekly wage that you were earning when you were injured. Overtime and income from a second business or job can also be included as a part of your average weekly wage. You are allowed
to receive your lost wages benefit during the time that you are regarded as being temporarily disabled and unable to do the necessary functions of your job.
However, in 2014, the average weekly wage was subject to a maximum of $1,074.64 per week in California. What this means is that no matter if your average weekly wage was higher than the maximum, the most you could receive for lost wages would be two/thirds of $1,074.64.
In Michigan, the amount you will receive for lost wages is 80% of your after-tax average weekly wages. Once again, this is subject to a maximum amount, which was $775 in 2012. This was calculated on the state average weekly wage of $860.34.
In some states, the amount your employer contributes to your employee benefits is also included in calculating your average weekly wages. For example, in Washington, even if your employer is no longer paying for your health insurance, your average weekly wages will include the amount that your employer contributed for your health insurance.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that your lost wages will be less than what you were earning when you were working. This can cause a significant financial strain on you and your family.
If you are having problems getting the workers’ compensation benefits that are rightfully yours and to make sure you are receiving all of the lost wage benefits you are entitled to, the smart thing to do is to talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer and have your case evaluated at no cost or obligation to you.
Article written by James Shugart
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