The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry in early January published the new average weekly wage rates for 2013. What is average weekly wage? The average weekly wage determination is one of the most important aspects of your workers’ compensation case because it dictates what your actual compensation rate will be if you are out of work because of a work injury.
Indemnity benefits, otherwise known as wage loss benefits, are payable when you are out of work or when you are working light duty and making less than your pre-injury wages. The amount of indemnity benefits an injured worker receives is generally calculated by multiplying the preinjury average weekly wage of the worker by two-thirds. If your earnings are below $509.43 per week, then your indemnity benefits generally can be calculated at 90% of your preinjury average weekly wage, with minimums and maximums established by law. It is also important to note that if you are injured at one job and that injury also prevents you from working your second job then you may be entitled to add the wages of the second job to the wages of the first job to calculate your average weekly wage. It is important to let us know if you work a second job.
Your average weekly wage is determined by calculating your wages over your four periods of 13 weeks. You eliminate the lowest of the four periods, add together the other three periods, then divide by 3. There are other nuances in determining your average weekly wage if you worked less than four quarters or less than a quarter.
Here is the 2013 statewide average weekly wage:
1. Wages between $687.76 per week and $1,375.50 per week are determined by multiplying wages by 66 2/3%. Maximum average weekly wage is $917.00.
2. Wages between $509.44 and $687.75 per week yield an average weekly wage of $458.50.
3. Wages under $509.43 per week are determined at 90% of weekly pay.
If you think your average weekly wage may have been calculated incorrectly, we urge you to give us a call. If you are uncertain, give us a call. The average weekly wage determination is critical because your indemnity benefits are base don your calculated average weekly wage. Call us today at 717-632-4656 or 1-877-632-4656. Our offices serve injured workers in the following counties: Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Perry,and York.