As a Pennsylvania worker, you may be entitled to wage replacement benefits through workers’ compensation if you are injured or become ill as a result of your employment. The amount you receive depends on whether you are totally or partially disabled and how much you earned prior to the injury or illness. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry recently announced the 2014 schedule of wage replacement benefits.
The Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act governs workers’ compensation benefits in the state. According to the act, an injured or ill worker is potentially entitled to wage replacement benefits equal to two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage prior to the injury or illness. However, minimum and maximum amounts apply to an approved claim.
Each year, the Department of Labor and Industryannounces the average weekly wageschedule for workers’ compensation, based on the statewide average weekly wage.This schedule sets the minimum and maximum benefit rate each year.
The maximum weekly wage replacement benefit will be $932 forinjuries occurring after January 1, 2014.This is the most you can receive each week in wage replacement benefitsregardless of your actual average weekly wage.
Benefit Depends on Level of Earnings
If your average weekly wage wasbetween $699.01 and $1,398, you will receive two-thirds of that amount for temporary total disability. For example, if your average weekly wageis $850, you would receive $561 in wage replacement benefits. However, if your average weekly wageis $1,600, you will receive $932, the maximumin wage replacement benefits in 2014.
For workers whose average weekly wagefalls below $699.01, the calculations are different. If your average weekly wageis between $517.78 and $699.01, you will receive a set amount of $466 per week in wage replacement benefits.Workers whose average weekly wageis below $517.78 will receive wage replacement benefits of 90 percent of that amount. For instance, if your average weekly wage is $450, you will receive $405 in wage replacement benefits.
Calculating average weekly wage is straightforward and simplefor many claimants. However, the amount can be a point of contention in a workers’ compensation claim. For example, calculating your average weekly wage can be complicated if you did not work for your current employer for very long prior to yourinjury or illness, of if you regularly worked overtime, or if you worked a second job.
Important to Be Accurate
It is crucial to correctly determine your average weekly wage, because it will affect the amount of wage replacement benefits you receive. After filing a claim, youwill receive the Department of Labor and Industry’s determination of your average weekly wage. If you disagree with the amount, you have a right to contest the department’s determination.
If you have filed a workers’ compensation claim in Pennsylvania and you believe that your average weekly wage was calculated incorrectly, an experienced Worker’s Compensation can help you determine your legal options.