How are Workers’ Compensation Benefits Calculated?

Workers that are temporarily totally disabled can receive a maximum of 60% of their average weekly wage for up to 3 years. If a worker is partially disabled by an industrial accident, they can receive 60% of the difference between their pre-injury wage and the wage they are capable of earning after the disability. Payments for partially disabled workers are payable for up to 5 years. An injured worker can receive weekly benefits for life, if the worker is unable to work in any capacity for the rest of their life. 

The insurance company will obtain a wage record from the employer. The average weekly wage is calculated by dividing the total gross wages by the number of weeks worked. The total gross wages includes overtime and bonuses. If the work is considered seasonal, the total wages are divided by 52 weeks, regardless of whether or not the employee worked the entire 52 weeks. 

If an injured worker is unable to work in any capacity, they are entitled to 60% of their average weekly wage. If an injured worker is partially disabled, the difference between the earnings the worker is expected to earn and their average weekly wage is multiplied by 60%, and this calculates their partial disability rate. The partial disability rate is at maximum, 75% of the total disability rate. 

The factors that determine whether an injury is considered a total or partial disability depend on the injured worker’s age, education, work experience, fluency in written and spoken English and physical impairments related to the accident. Administrative Judges utilize these factors to assess the impact of an injury on the earning capacity of the worker. 

The analysis also includes whether the injured employee has the ability to work in a job other than the one which they were previously working at while injured. If the worker has the ability to work at another job, they may not be able to qualify for total disability benefits. 

Worker’s compensation payments are not taxable by state or federal income law. Dependency benefits are payable if the injured worker’s weekly compensation drops below $150 a week. If the compensation drops below $150, $6 is added for each dependent until the rate reaches $150. 

Under the Worker’s Compensation Act, medical providers must accept the rates published by the state as full payment for the treatment, and providers cannot charge injured workers any more. However, many doctors do not accept rates paid by Workers’ Compensation. Check with the doctor if they accept Workers’ Compensation Rates before treatment begins. 

The maximum weekly compensation rate changes each year on October 1st. As of October 1st, 2021, the maximum weekly compensation rate is $1, 694.24. The minimum weekly compensation is $338.85. If a worker’s full average weekly wage is less than the minimum, the worker will receive their full average weekly wage. The minimum and maximum rates vary from year to year, so it is imperative that you speak to an attorney to verify the latest rates. Call an experienced lawyer today at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. Call 617-225-2100. 


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