When someone is injured at work, they must navigate the workers’ compensation claims process in order to apply for benefits.  Part of that process will include providing information to get paid for any time that the injured employee is unable to work.  The amount of money paid for time off of work is based on the workers’ average weekly wage.

People file workers’ compensation claims when they are injured while on the job.  When this happens, people end up unable to work and incurring medical bills.  Workers’ compensation exists to help employees in this situation since people cannot lose income without experiencing undue hardship in their lives.  A Florida workers’ compensation attorney in Jacksonville can help you file your claim and get you the benefits you need.

If, after reading this article, you have more questions about your own circumstances, then a Florida workers’ compensation attorney in Jacksonville at RITE Law is here to help.  At RITE Law, we have a group of Florida workers’ compensation attorneys in Jacksonville who have your best interests at heart, and who have the training and resources to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.  Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online.  We provide a free case evaluation, so call today.

1. What Exactly is the Average Weekly Wage?

In order to pay an injured employee for missed work time, it is necessary to determine how much money they should receive.  This is where the average weekly wage (AWW) comes in.  AWW is used to determine how much to pay for the time the employee is disabled and cannot work.   The AWW is calculated using the employee’s 13 weeks of pay prior to the injury.

It may sound fairly simple, but it actually is more complicated than it seems. There are always additional factors that play into your wages.  Think about the details of each paycheck.   They can include bonuses and other additions to your paycheck, as well as insurance and retirement deductions from your pay.  These can easily impact how much your AWW is if not calculated correctly.  In order to make sure all calculations are made as they should be, ask a Florida workers’ compensation attorney in Jacksonville to help with your claim.

Workers’ compensation laws use 13 weeks of wages because they want to make sure that even with bonuses, overtime, or lack thereof on some weeks, the calculated amount is a good average of your income.  Once they have the AWW amount, then they calculate the comp rate by taking 662/3% (.6667) of the AWW.  

Example:

Total wages for 13 weeks – $7,000

$7,000/13= $538.46 is AWW

Comp rate is $538.46 x 0.6667= $358.99

Therefore, the wages in the example which would be paid to the injured employee would be $358.99 per week. 

Additionally, if you have more than one job, then you must include both 13 weeks of wages as long as you are unable to work at both job positions.  It is up to you to make sure they have this information.  It can be tricky and confusing.  This is something you want to get right because it determines how much money you will be paid during your time off work. Ask a Florida workers’ compensation attorney in Jacksonville for assistance to ensure that no errors are made.

2. Are There Exceptions to the 13 Week Rule?

If you don’t have a full 13 weeks of pay immediately prior to your work-related injury, then they have alternative methods to determine your AWW.  In those circumstances, the law allows that 75% of your employment for the last 13 weeks can be used, which equals around 10 weeks. 

But what happens if you don’t have that 75% employment threshold?  What happens if you have not done the same type of work, or any work, for the last 13 weeks, or even 10 weeks?  In those cases, the law directs that they use wages of a similar employee in the same employment.  They will take someone who does essentially the same job for the same employer and use their AWW. 

Seasonal workers may also need to use a different method.  The law allows them to use 52 weeks of wages prior to the work-related injury to determine their AWW.  It is important to note that if this is your situation, you will be responsible for providing all documentation such as W-2’s and paystubs so your AWW can be calculated properly.  It is also your responsibility to prove that this method of determining your AWW is the more reasonable and most fair method versus the normally used 13 weeks of wages.  Part-time workers also have to deal with varying methods of determining AWW. 

Contact a Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Jacksonville with Average Weekly Wage Questions.

Navigating the Workers’ Compensation claims process, including knowing if your AWW has been calculated properly, can be difficult.  Luckily help is available.  Just contact a Florida workers’ compensation attorney in Jacksonville to discuss your claim and how to apply for benefits. 

At RITE Law, we started the firm for one reason – to help those in Florida and elsewhere have the resources of a firm that was “big enough to fight but small enough to care.”  At Rudolph, Israel, Tucker & Ellis (RITE law), we have the resources and experience to go to trial when it is necessary, and we have the wisdom to advise you appropriately.  

Expect lots of attention, passionate representation, and a healthy disdain for big insurance companies. We believe that leads to the best result possible.  Unlike larger firms, your case isn’t handed to a paralegal or assistant to do the heavy lifting. The attorney you meet initially is the one who will be by your side every step of the way. 

Without help from the RITE team, making a disability, worker’s compensation or personal injury claim can be very difficult.  When you turn to our firm, we spring into action, making sure that every detail of your case is addressed.  Call us for help.  Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online.  We provide a free case evaluation, so feel free to call us today.

The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.  You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post.  No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied.  If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.