The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry released the 2017 Average Weekly Wage chart with the new year wage loss rates. This chart determines what an injured worker receives for wage loss weekly benefits based on his/her average weekly wage earnings. Under the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act, injured workers are not entitled to their full wages.
If you are injured at work in 2017 and are out of work and entitled to indemnity benefits, here are the wage rates.
Maximum Rate: $995.00 per week. This maximum rate is the most that can be paid out while an injured worker is out of work. The maximum rate applies to any injured worker who averages a weekly wage of $1,492.51 and above. It does not matter how much above the $1,492.51 you are, the maximum rate you can receive is $995.00 per week.
If your average weekly wage is between $746.26 and $1,492.50 per week, you will receive two-third of your average weekly wage. For example, if your average weekly wage is $900.00 per week, then your weekly compensation rate would be $600.03 per week if you are out of work because of a work injury.
If your average weekly wage is between $552.78 and $746.25 per week, then your weekly compensation rate is set at $497.50. Does not matter if your average weekly wage is at the low end near $552.78 or the high end of $746.25, your compensation rate is the same at $497.50.
If your average weekly wage is less than $552.77, you will receive 90% of your average weekly wage. For example, if your average weekly wage is $450.00 per week, then you will receive $405.00 per week if you are out of work because of a work injury, which is 90% of $450.00.
The calculation of your average weekly wage takes into account more than just your hourly wages. They are calculated over four 13 week periods. There are special rules if you have not worked four 13 week periods or worked less than a single 13 week period. Besides wages, your average weekly wage also includes bonuses, vacation, incentives, and overtime. It is extremely important that the calculation is correct. Many times, insurance carriers are not provided all the wage data from the employer.
Calculating your average weekly wage is critical in a Pennsylvania workers compensation case. Just a small error in your calculated average weekly wage could costs you thousands of dollars. For example, let’s say your average weekly wage was miscalculated by $40 per week. Your compensation rate if $600 per week, and should have been $640 per week. Let’s say you settled your case for a specific period of disability. At $600 per week, let’s say you settled for $93,600. If your average weekly wage was correct at $640 per week, the same settlement you would have received $99,840. Just a $40 error would have cost you $6,240. That is why it is absolutely critical to be sure your average weekly wage is correct.
If you feel that your average weekly wage is incorrect, call our office today for a FREE CONSULTATION. If it is indeed incorrect, we can attempt to work that out with your insurance carrier or file a Review Petition that will ask a Workers Compensation Judge to review the wage issue. We have fourteen office locations scattered throughout Central Pennsylvania. We come to you! If you would like to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION, simply give us a call at 717-200-HURT or drop me an email. You can contact me by email through the right side bar.