The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry has released the 2021 average weekly wage rates. By way of explanation, the average weekly wage is calculated based on your earnings in the four thirteen week calendar periods immediately prior to your date of injury. Based on that average weekly wage, the corresponding compensation rate is determined by the average weekly wage chart issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.
The compensation rate is the amount of wage loss benefits an injured worker received as a result of disability from work. It is important to understand that the 2021 rates are applicable to dates of injury that occur in 2021 only. If your injury occurred in 2020 or later, you would have to refer to those individual year rates.
Although the new 2021 rates are not updated on the website yet, here are the new numbers. First, the rates for 2021 were hiked by +4.6% from 2020. The maximum compensation rate that can be received was increased to $1,130.00 per week. In 2020, the maximum rate was $1,081.00. The new rate chart will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on December 26, 2020 and will then appear on the website after that.
Ensuring your average weekly wage rate is calculated properly is critical to your case. Here is why.
Any small error in calculating your average weekly wage can have a significant financial impact in your case. Let’s assume an individual gets hurt at work in 2020 and the 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. Let’s assume the wages were not calculate properly. Let’s assume overtime was not includes and your actual average weekly wage should have been $625.00. Now, say that you settle your claim for two years of disability. At $450.00 per week, your settlement amount would be $46,800.00. Now, if your average weekly wage were correct at $625.00, then your corresponding compensation rate would have been set at $540.50 per week. A two year settlement at that rate would have been $56,212.00. That is a difference of $9,412.00 less in your pocket. That is why ensuring your AWW is calculated correctly is absolutely critical to you.
Getting expert legal advice will ensure your wage are calculated correctly, that you do not sign forms from the insurance carrier that you should not sign, that you get the medical treatment you need, and that you get the benefits the Act provides and that you deserve. Your rights and benefits are too important. Insurance companies have their defense counsel reviewing your case, shouldn’t you be protected on your end? Call Mooney Law today. We are experienced, proven, and trusted in workers compensation. Call for an absolutely FREE CONSULTATION at 717-200-HELP or 833-MOONEYLAW.
Check back here. We will update the blog when the full average weekly wage chart is updated after December 26.