Each year, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry releases new state wide Average Weekly Wage (AWW) chart for Pennsylvania Workers Compensation. The chart determines what your weekly workers compensation disability rate would be based on your average weekly earnings with your at time of injury employer. 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 2018 workers compensation rates for wage loss benefits.
- If you make above $1537.50 per week, then you would be paid the maximum rate of $1,025.00 per week. This is slightly up from the 20107 rate of $995.00 per week.
- If you make between $768.76 per week and $1537.50 per week, then your weekly compensate rate would be 66 2/3% of your actually average weekly wage
- If your average weekly wage would be between $569.44 and $768.75, then your compensation rate is fixed at $512.50 per week.
- If your average weekly wage is below $569.43 per week, then your compensation rate would be 90% of your actual average weekly wage.
It is important to note that your average weekly wage 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 absolutely critical that your wages are calculated correctly. 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 2018 and his wages are calculated to be $500.00 per week (AWW). That would provide a weekly disability compensation rate of 90% of $500.00 per week, which would make the compensation rate to be $450.00 per week. 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. Now, let’s assume that your AWW was calculated incorrectly, the insurance carrier had wrong wage information or forgot bonuses. Let’s assume then your AWW should have been $550.00 per week, instead of $500.00 per week. At $550.00 per week, your weekly disability rate would be $495.00 per week, instead of $450.00 per week. A two year settlement at $495.00 per week would be $51.480.00. When you settle your case, that is a $4,680.00 mistake. A correct calculation would be an additional $4680.00 in your pocket. Think about that. That is only a $40.00 per week mistake. That is why ensuring your AWW is calculated correctly is absolutely critical to you.
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 to trust what the insurance carrier is telling you. Who’s interest do you think they are protecting, yours or theirs?
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Our legal team has decades of experience in complex workers compensation law. We stand ready to assist you in your time of need and you know you can Count on Mooney, whatever your legal need.
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