While out of work for a work injury, an employee collects a weekly temporary total disability check that is equal to two-thirds (0.667) of his or her average weekly wage. In general, average weekly wage is based upon an employee’s gross earnings for each of the 26 weeks preceding the injury, but not including the week of the injury. The gross earnings include overtime, tips, and bonuses. It also includes the fair market value of any room, board, food, electricity or similar benefits provided to the injured worker unless the injured worker continues to receive any of these benefits during his period of temporary disability.
There are exceptions to the general rule and certain weeks are excluded from the calculations. For instance, weeks are excluded if:
1) The injured worker worked and/or was paid for less than one-half of his or her normally scheduled hours;
2) The injured worker did not work at all, regardless whether he or she was paid for that week;
3) The weeks preceding a raise, promotion or transfer that resulted in the injured worker earning larger wages.
Average weekly wage is calculated by totaling the gross wages and dividing by the number of weeks. If an employee has worked fewer than four weeks at the time of his or her injury, the calculations for average weekly wage are based upon a comparable employee working in a similar capacity.
The temporary total disability rate is two-thirds of the average weekly wage. The compensation rate is adjusted annually on July 1.
During the period of temporary total disability, an injured worker is also paid $10.00 per week for each dependent child who is unmarried and under the age of 21 years.
Temporary total disability benefits are subject to the annual minimum and maximum amounts. As of July 1, 2017, the minimum rate is $427.00 and the maximum rate is $1,281.00.
If an injured worker has more than one job and is regularly employed by two or more insured employers at the time of his or her injury, the workers’ compensation rate is based upon the combined average weekly wage from all employers.
Don’t assume that the amount of your weekly worker’ compensation check is correct. Get a free consultation with our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers to ensure that your benefits are accurately calculated and that you are receiving all of the benefits that you are owed.