Each year, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Bureau of Workers Compensation releases the new state wide Average Weekly Wage (AWW) chart for Pennsylvania Workers Compensation.  The Bureau has released the 2020 rates.  The average weekly wage is an important calculation that establishes your weekly wage loss payment, should your claim be accepted.

Your average weekly wage is calculated on your earning prior to  the date of injury, or in some cases, expectation of earnings.  Ensuring the your AWW is calculated correctly is extremely important in your workers compensation case. It defines what you will be paid on a weekly basis while out of work and ultimately shapes a potential lump sum settlement amount.

Here are the 2020 workers compensation rates for wage loss benefits.

  • If you make above $1,621.50 per week, then you would be paid the maximum rate of $1,081.00 per week.  This is slightly up from the 2019 maximum rate of  rate of $1,049.00 per week.
  • If you make between $810.75 per week and $1621.50 per week, then your weekly compensate rate would be 66 2/3% of your actually average weekly wage.  So if your AWW is $950.00, your disability rate would be $600.03.
  • If your average weekly wage would be between $600.56 and $810.75, then your compensation rate is fixed at $540.50 per week.
  • If your average weekly wage is below $600.55 per week, then your compensation rate would be 90% of your actual average weekly wage.

It is important to note that your AWW is calculated based on your earnings immediately preceding the work injury. It is also important to note that your AWW and your corresponding disability rate sticks with your work injury the entire claim.  So, if you have been injured six months ago, you return to work, receive a .50 cent raise, then have to go back out of work because of the same work injury, your disability rate will not increase because of a raise at work.

It is vital to your case that your AWW is calculated properly. A small error in calculating your average weekly wage can have a significant financial impact in your case. For instance, let’s assume an individual gets hurt at work in 2020 and his wages are calculated to be $500.00 per week (AWW). That would provide a weekly disability compensation rate of 90%, which would be $450.00 per week disability. If your employer accepted your work injury, that is what you would receive per week while out of work.

Now, say that you settle your claim for two years of disability. That would provide you a settlement of $46,800.00 (two full years at $450 per week). Now, let’s assume that your AWW was calculated incorrectly. Let’s assume that your AWW should have been $600.00 per week, instead of $500.00 per week.  Your disability rate should have been At $540.00 per week then, instead of the $450.00 per week.  That same two year settlement with the correct wages would have been $56,150.00. That is a difference of $9,360.00 in your pocket.  That is why it is absolutely critical to ensure your wages were properly calculated.  Many times it is not that the insurance carrier is trying to rip you off.  They simply may not have complete wage information.

To avoid these type of problems, the best thing to do when you are injured at work is contact an experienced workers compensation attorney immediately when you are injured. Your rights and benefits are simply too valuable.   The workers compensation area of law is quite complex, from wages, to medical information, to proper diagnosis, to case value.  That’s why you should Count on Mooney.  We are experienced, proven, and trusted in Pennsylvania Workers Compensation.  We have recovered tens of millions on behalf of injured workers in Pennsylvania.   Mooney Law has 14 offices spread throughout Central Pennsylvania and Maryland.  We can meet you at the office location most convenient for you. Call us today for a FREE consultation at 833-MOONEYLAW or 717-200-HELP.