A non-working person’s weekly compensation check is based on two thirds of their average weekly wages for the year prior to the injury, up to a maximum amount, depending on your date of injury. For example if you were making $900 per week prior to your injury, you could be entitled to up to $600 per week depending on when you were injured. If you made $300 gross per week, your maximum weekly benefits would be $200. There is also a maximum payment rate that varies depending upon the date of your injury.
The Workers’ Compensation system calculates payments to you, if you are temporarily disabled, based upon your medical “degree of disability”. This is a doctor’s rating of your overall ability to work. If the doctor feels that you can not do any type of job, you are 100% or “totally disabled”. We will ask that you be paid 100% of your weekly benefits. If the doctor feels you can do some type of work, within limitations, you will be found to be less than 100% disabled. This is a partial disability. If you are partially disabled you will be entitled to receive a percentage of 2/3 of your prior wages again subject to the maximum rate for your date of injury. For example, if your were injured in 2006 and your pre-injury wages are $1200, and your doctor says that you are 75% disabled you would receive 75% of $800. However, since 75% is $600 and the maximum rate payable for a 2006 injury is $400, you would only be entitled to receive $400. If partially disabled, make sure your doctor gives specific restrictions (for example, how much you can lift in pounds), and a percentage of disability. Typically the doctors use terms such as “mild” (25%), “moderate” (50%) or “marked” (75%) when describing your condition.
If your disability is permanent then a different method is used to determine your percentage of permanent disability. The method of calculating your payment rate is the same, but the source of the percentage will be your loss of wage earning capacity (explained in the permanent disability question) rather than just your medical disability.
Posted in: Workers Comp