If you have suffered a workplace injury, you could be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. Successful applicants will receive a weekly income replacement check. Calculating the amount of benefits you are entitled to can seem overwhelming and excessively complicated. A workers’ compensation calculator can help you create an average of your income before your injury. The insurance provider will use that amount to determine how many benefits you will receive. If you are an injured worker, you will usually receive about two-thirds of your weekly wages from before the accident happened.
Your average weekly wage will be used to decide the amount of your workers’ compensation benefits. If you have been working consistently before your workplace accident happened, your earnings will determine your weekly compensation amount. If you worked in the same type of employment for at least 13 weeks prior to your workplace injury, you will simply add your wages for the last 13 weeks and then divide them by 13. The resulting number will be your average weekly wage. Remember that you need to use your pre-taxed weekly wage amount, not the amount after taxes are taken out.
If you did not work for the whole of the previous 13 weeks before your injury, you would need to use a similar employee’s earnings to determine your average weekly wage. In other words, you will use the payment that an employee who is engaged in your same type of employment received over 13 weeks. Thus, if you are a construction worker, you can use a construction worker’s wages in your geographic location who worked for 13 weeks to determine your average weekly wage. A similar employee is someone who has the same pay scale as you or who works under the same type of job classification as you. In this case, you would simply add up the pre-tax wages from a similar employee over the past 13 weeks, then divide them by 13 to arrive at your average weekly wage.
What happens if you cannot find a similar employee? For example, what if you have a unique job, and it is difficult to find a similar employee? When no similar employee exists, you may have to simply multiply your hourly wage by the number of hours that a full-time employee would work. This ultimate number depends on your employment contract, but full-time employees are expected to work 40 hours per week in many cases. Thus, you would take your hourly wage and multiply it by 40 to arrive at your average weekly wage for the purposes of workers’ compensation benefits.
Many clients are understandably worried about how much money will be in their workers’ compensation checks. When facing time off of work and mounting medical bills, this is a crucial question. In most cases, successful workers’ compensation applicants receive a check for approximately two-thirds of their average weekly wage. That is, if your average weekly wage is $600 a week, you’ll receive $400 per week, which is two-thirds of that amount. Keep in mind that there are limits as to how much you can receive for your average weekly wage.
More people than ever are working multiple jobs to stay financially afloat. Some exceptions to the general rules exist when people have concurrent employment, meaning they are working for at least two employers before they become injured at work. To qualify for concurrent employment benefits, you will need to show that your workplace injury prevents you from working.
In a concurrent employment situation, you will compute your average weekly wages for each of your jobs and add both of the results together. For example, if you received $250 from one job and $200 from another job, your final average weekly wage is $450. Not all jobs can be considered concurrent. You will need to show that your two jobs are similar. Your employers do not need to be somewhere, but your job duties in both positions need to be similar.
If you are no longer able to work because of the workplace injury, the calculation of your wages for benefits is critical. Multiple different factors could reduce your total average weekly wage or lower the number of benefits you receive. For example, if you took your two weeks vacation during the 13 weeks prior to your injury, then your average weekly wages could become lower. Or, if you got a cold and took a few days off one week, your average weekly wages could be skewed.
Some workers’ compensation situations can become extremely complicated. For example, if you happen to be on light duty before the accident occurred, if you have more than one job or had missed time from work before the accident took place. If you are unable to work due to a workplace injury, one of the most important things you can do is secure the highest possible amount of compensation for you and your family. For help with your workers’ compensation claim, or to have an experienced lawyer examine your benefits to make sure you’re receiving the correct amount, contact Smith Hulsey Law today to schedule your free initial consultation.
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