How are my workers’ compensation benefits calculated?
“How do you calculate workers compensation?”
If you have been injured at work, you are generally eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, including a weekly benefit to replace wages. Under Pennsylvania law, you are entitled to about two-thirds of your weekly wage, up to a maximum amount. The actual amount that you are owed is based on your gross average weekly wage.
The average weekly wage is calculated based on your total of all gross wages from every employer you have at the time of your injury. Your average weekly wage includes overtime, bonuses, tips that you reported to the IRS, vacation pay, and even payments for lodging.
If you receive the same amount each week, your average weekly wage is your gross weekly paycheck. If you are an hourly worker, your average weekly wage will depend on how long you have worked for the employer where you were injured.
In addition, there are minimum and maximum benefits. The maximum amount you can receive depends on the Department of Labor and Industry’s calculation of the statewide average weekly wage. If you were injured at work in 2014:
- You will receive $914 per week if your average weekly wage is greater than $1398
- You will receive 2/3 of your average weekly wage if your average weekly wage is between $666 and 1,398
- You will receive $466 if your average weekly wage is between approximately $517 and $699
- You will receive 90 percent of your average weekly wage if you earn less than approximately $517.
There are other potential factors in calculating your average weekly wage. Our law firm has found that the average weekly wage is one of the most frequently miscalculated items by workers’ compensation insurance carriers. Because these errors can result in significant money over time, you should work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney if you suspect that your average weekly wage is not accurate.
- Our law firm handles workers’ compensation claims in Philadelphia and other Pennsylvania cities. For our clients’ benefit, we provide a handbook with answers to common workers’ compensation questions. To request a copy, visit our workers’ compensation handbook page.