Average Weekly Wage
If you’ve been hurt on the job, and your injury keeps you from being able to work, the Workers Compensation system is set up to provide you with weekly benefits. This is true whether you’re totally disabled or are partially disabled and able to do some work. Regardless of how badly you’re injured, your benefits are based on a calculation of Average Weekly Wage. Calculating this number is usually the first thing a lawyer needs to do in order for benefits to be paid.What is Average Weekly Wage?
The term “Average Weekly Wage” is really just that: an average of how much you made per week over the past 52 weeks. While that might be easy if you had a consistent paycheck in the same amount for the past year, rarely does anyone’s pay remain constant. Whether your job was commission based, paid bonuses from time to time, or even if you got a raise, the calculation gets more difficult. Sometimes those payments are missed, and your lawyer’s job will be to make sure that the calculation is done right.
It can also be complicated if you were a seasonal employee or if you were out of work for a period of time. In some of these situations, instead of taking an average over 52 weeks. So in some circumstances, your Average Weekly Wage may be taken over less than a full 52 weeks. This can be one of the main ways that the insurance company miscalculates the Average Weekly Wage. An experienced Workers Compensation lawyer will spend the time to learn what your work history has been so that your Average Weekly Wage can be calculated correctly.What If I Had More Than One Job?
If you have more than one job, your earnings from both jobs should be used to calculate your average weekly wage. So, if you work a normal 9-5 job during the week and earn $600, and then have a weekend job that brings in another $150, your average weekly wage would be $750.
However, there are circumstances where a second job might not be included for this calculation. For example, your second job must be one covered by Workers Compensation insurance. So, if you run your own business or if you drive an Uber, any earnings would not be included in your Average Weekly Wage calculation because those jobs are not covered by Workers Compensation insurance.How Does my Average Weekly Wage Affect My Case?
Your Average Weekly Wage affects many aspects of your case. Obviously, it will affect how much your check will be every week. Beyond that, it will affect how the insurance company and DIA try to transition you into a new job. The higher your Average Weekly Wage, the more difficult it will be to find a new job that accommodates your injury while also paying what you earned before getting injured.My Insurer Miscalculated My Wages. What Can I Do?
Establishing an Average Weekly Wage is both a math problem, and also a documentation problem. First, the insurance company has to have all the information it needs from all your employees to figure out how much you made over the past 52 weeks. Especially when you no longer work at a company, getting wage information can be difficult. Second, there are sometimes calculation issues. For example, a wage that should have been established over 40 weeks was divided over the full 52.
If that happens, it’s best to talk to your attorney as soon as possible. An experienced Workers Compensation Attorney can work with you to make sure your weekly checks are the proper amount. Especially when you’re injured and not earning your full check, every dollar can help.Experienced Lowell, Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyers
At Marcotte Law Firm, our Workers Compensation lawyers have decades of experience. Our lawyers also take the time to make sure that these housekeeping problems get taken care of. We understand that a workers compensation payment is less than your normal check, and we ensure that the insurance company is paying what it should.
If you were injured at work and think that the insurance company didn’t calculate your Average Weekly Wage correctly, contact the Lowell Workers Compensation attorneys at Marcotte Law Firm for a Free consultation.