Many workers will suffer a work-related injury at some point in their career. Most Pennsylvania employers must provide workers’ compensation insurance. This covers medical and wage loss expenses for workers with work-related injuries and illnesses. Individuals who are totally disabled by the work-related injury or illness often have great financial difficulty due to lost work. They need the workers’ compensation benefits in order to maintain their household.
Income Loss Benefit Amount
The income loss benefit amount for a totally disabled worker is two-thirds of the pre-injury average weekly wage. The maximum amount payable cannot exceed the state average weekly wage, which changes every year. The minimum amount payable is either 50 percent of the statewide average weekly wage or 90 percent of the worker’s average weekly wage, whichever is lower.
Average Weekly Wage Calculation
The average weekly wage is based on gross wages, not take home pay. It includes regular pay, overtime, incentive pay, shift pay, shift differentials and bonuses. If an injured worker works for more than one employer, then the wages from all employers are used to calculate the average weekly wage.
When calculating the average weekly wage, it is common to review gross earnings for the four calendar quarters prior to the injury. An average is taken of the three highest quarters. For seasonal workers or those who have not worked for the employer for at least one year, alternate methods are available to calculate the average weekly wage.
Because the average weekly wage is used calculate the income loss benefit, workers should check this calculation very carefully. Errors in the calculation can make a big difference in the benefit paid to the disabled worker.
Work-related injuries and illness are especially difficult for those left totally disabled and unable to work. Obtaining the income loss benefit is crucial for these individuals. The attorneys at Schmidt Kramer are experienced with workers’ compensation cases and helping injured workers obtain the benefits they deserve.
Have you been denied workers’ compensation benefits or been pressured to settle your workers’ compensation claim? Contact a York workers’ compensation attorney at (717) 888-8888 for a prompt and free case review.
Also, you can download the book Who Pays the Bills When You Are Injured at Work? for further information.