When you get hurt on the job, it can be a confusing time.You are injured and out of work, racking up medical bills and not sure what is going to happen next. Likely the biggest worry will be how you are going to survive financially while you recover.

For this reason it is important to understand how worker’s compensation pays and more importantly, how much it pays so you can ensure you are taken care of while you try to recuperate for your injury until you can return to work.

The worker’s compensation law has set maximum payment amounts since workers’ compensation is really an insurance policy. This way it can be assured that all parties to the contract would know what their cost would be,  since there were certain limits on what you might be able to receive in the event of an on the job injury.

The maximum amount of workers’ compensation that you may be entitled to receive is two-thirds of your Average Weekly Wage and the Maximum Benefit.

Therefore, if you are injured on the job and had been earning $600.00 a week, you are entitled to two-thirds of your AWW and would then take home $400.00 tax free, a similar outcome.

A problem arises because people earn all different levels of money, and by having a maximum, once you earn the highest amount you can earn more and more money while not get anything additional from workers’ compensation.

This has led to many frustrations for people who are high wage earners or even those that make a decent income, yet are stuck with a very low maximum workers’ compensation rate when they become injured on the job.

Not until 2007 did the New York State Workers’ Compensation Law allow for an increase in the maximum benefit. Anybody who is injured between 1992 and 2007 is stuck with a maximum of $400.00 a week. Even if they were making significant earnings the most they would get is $400.00 a week.

What Is Average Weekly Wage?

Workers’ Compensation Weekly Wage Limits:

– July 1, 1992 and July 1, 2007 your Maximum Rate is $400.00.
– July 1, 2007 to July 1, 2008 $500.
– July 1, 2008 to July 1, 2009 $550.
– July 1, 2009 to July 1, 2010 $600.
– July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011 $739.83
– July 1, 2011 to July 1, 2012 $772.96
– July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2013 $792.07
– July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014 $803.21
– July 1, 2014 to Jyly 1, 2015 $808.65
– July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2016 $844.29
(and each July 1 thereafter the rate will be increased (or decreased!) to 2/3rds of the State Average Weekly Wage.)

The average weekly wage is the number used by the Workers’ Compensation Law to determine your weekly wage replacement benefit, should you need to file a claim.  If you are injured and not working due to a work-related accident, then you will be entitled to get a weekly payment which is not a weekly payment for “wage loss.”

It is not your entire actual pay, but a portion. Therefore, figuring out what your average weekly wage is will be the most important factor in determining how much weekly benefits you can receive.

If your average weekly wage is set too low, you could be receiving less benefits than you are entitled to receive when injured. If your average weekly wage is set very high, there is a chance to get you the maximum benefit in workers’ compensation.

It would seem that Average Weekly Wage, as it is known, would be fairly easy to figure out. However, there are many factors that go into determining your “average” weekly wage. The quickest way to determine your wage is to divide your W-2 number by the number of weeks you worked or divide by 52 (weeks of the year. If you have worked less than a full year, there are other factors to consider. If you receive meals, lodging, tips, as well as bonuses or commissions, these could all affect your average earnings and ultimately the amount of money that you receive in workers compensation.

Consult An Experienced Workmens’ Comp Lawyer

In order to have the amounts calculated correctly, it can help to have an experienced worker’s compensation attorney review your claim when injured on the job. There are many things to consider when hurt on the job. In addition to recovering from your injury, you’ll need to ensure your medical bills are covered and your personal bills get paid until you can return to earning a stable income.