One of the most useful benefits of workers’ compensation is the replacement of lost wages. But can you really expect to receive the same paycheck as when you were working? Do you get full pay on workers’ comp? No, you will be paid a reduced amount on workers’ comp, which is usually equal to two-thirds of your average weekly pre-injury wages.
Before you can even receive lost wages through workers’ comp, though, you need to miss a minimum amount of work due to your work injury. In most states, you must miss at least 7 days of work to qualify for temporary total disability benefits, which include weekly or biweekly paychecks at the reduced rate of about 66.67% of what you had been earning before you were injured.
How are Workers’ Comp Paychecks Calculated?
Your workers’ comp disability pay benefits will be calculated by:
- Reviewing your pre-injury paychecks, up to 52 weeks if you have worked for your employer for longer than a year.
- Averaging your weekly pay from those paychecks (totaling them together and then dividing by the number of paychecks, rounding down to the nearest penny).
- Increasing that amount to your state’s current minimum, or decreasing it to your state’s current maximum, if needed.
If you regularly worked overtime, then your overtime pay should be factored into your average pre-injury wages. For example, if you work overtime every week or were scheduled for overtime and could not refuse it, then the money you earned with OT can be added to your disability pay.
Permanent Disability Benefits
If you are unable to return to any type of work due to your disability, then you can qualify for permanent total disability benefits. Most states, pay permanent disability benefits at the same rate as temporary total disability benefits – or 2/3 of your average weekly pre-injury wages – until you reach retirement age.
You might also become eligible for permanent partial disability benefits if you can return to work in some capacity, either with your original employer or a new company. There are several ways to calculate permanent partial disability pay benefits depending on where you live. Many states will pay two-thirds the difference between what you were earning before your injury and what you earn with your new job, assuming that you are earning less than before. Although, the rate can be quite different depending on the type of disability you have and your state’s unique rules, so it is always worth speaking with a local workers’ compensation attorney to find out the specifics you could encounter.
Kentucky Injury Law Center can help you ensure that you get the most compensation possible through workers’ comp if you were hurt on the job in Kentucky. Arrange a FREE consultation with our firm now.