How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Pay?

How Much Does Workers’ Comp Pay Per Week In New York?

Date of Accident Weekly Maximum Benefit
July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019 $904.74
July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018 $870.61
July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017 $864.32
July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016 $844.29
July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015 $808.65
July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014 $803.21
July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013 $792.07
July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012 $772.96
July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011 $739.83
July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010 $600
July 1, 2008 – June 30, 2009 $550
July 1, 2007 – June 30, 2008 $500
July 1, 1992 – June 30, 2007 $400
July 1, 1991 – June 30, 1992 $350
July 1, 1990 – June 30, 1991 $340
July 1, 1985 – June 30, 1990 $300

There are three basic workers’ compensation benefits you can receive:

  1. Weekly lost wage replacement (see below for the calculation!),
  2. Medical care related to the workplace injury, and
  3. A lump sum settlement.

Your weekly lost wage replacement benefit

If you are missing work due to a work injury you can receive two-thirds (2/3) of your pre-tax weekly wage (the “average weekly wage”) up to the maximum amount allowed for the date of your injury.

Here is an example:

John is missing time from work due to a work related back injury. He earned $600 a week on average at his retail sales job. Since he is under the care of a doctor and not working, John is entitled to receive $400 a week in workers compensation wage replacement since he is temporarily totally disabled.

How Do You Calculate Workers Comp Wages? Average Weekly Wage (AWW) x 2/3 = Wage Replacement Benefit $600 x2/3 = $400

Here is another example:

Sarah was injured on July 1, 2017. She earns $1500.00 a week as an urgent care nurse. She is out of work and totally disabled. Using the basic lost wage formula Sarah would expect to recover $1000 a week in lost wages ($1500 x 2/3 = $1000). HOWEVER, the maximum benefit of on the day of her accident is capped at $870.61. So even though Sarah’s AWW would generate a weekly benefit of $1000 she is limited to $870.61

Since the Workers’ Compensation lost wage benefit is tax-free the two-thirds formula works pretty well for people who earn up to a certain limit. However, for those people who earn a decent income or a higher income, you can be stuck with an artificially low weekly lost wage benefit because of the ‘maximum’ caps on benefits.

New York Workers’ Compensation Weekly Wage Limits:

(note – these change EVERY July 1!)

Workers’ Compensation Weekly Wage Limits:

– July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 $904.74
(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.

The physical pain of a work-related injury is only the beginning of the ‘pains’ that an injured worker experiences when thrown into the New York Workers’ Compensation system. Getting hurt on the job can be a confusing time – you are out of work, your medical bills are racking up, your concerned about how you will pay your rent, mortgage, car payment and more, and you are worried about getting healthy, keeping your job and getting back to work. Knowing how much money you can receive for your lost wages is extremely important.

So, how do you know how much you will receive?

First, lets me start out by telling you the basic benefits you may be entitled to receive and then how to calculate the amount you will actually get!



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What gets included in determining your “Average Weekly Wage”

To make sure you get the highest benefit possible you need to make sure that the Workers’ Compensation Board properly determines your Average Weekly Wage. The quickest way to determine your average weekly wage is to divide your W-2 number by the number of weeks you worked or divide by 52 for a full year. But this is just the a rough estimate.

Injured workers often make the following mistakes when applying for compensation benefits, and these mistakes can incorrectly lower the amount of benefits you could receive:

Common Mistakes people make about their Average Weekly Wage:

  • People use their “after-tax” or “net” wages, not their “gross” wages
  • People do not include tips, commissions, meals, lodging, bonuses in their estimate of their average wage
  • People do not realize that it is the average of the 52 weeks prior to the accident
  • People do not include earnings from second or third jobs (called concurrent employment)
  • People just accept what the insurance company tells them and the Workers’ Compensation Board

Do not fall prey to these mistakes. There are very special rules that the Workers’ Compensation Law Judges are supposed to follow for determining the amount of your Average Weekly Wage. If your average weekly wage is set too low, you could be receiving less benefits than you are entitled to receive when injured. Remember, the average weekly wage is not your entire actual pay, but a portion. Therefore figuring out what your average weekly wage is will be the most important factor (after medical reports from your doctor)in determining how much weekly wage replacement benefits you can receive.

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.