Calculating the Average Weekly Wage for a Worker’s Comp Claim
To determine your benefits, one of the key factors is calculating what’s known as your “average weekly wage”
Your Average Weekly Wage (“AWW”) determines your wage replacement for the duration of your claim. It can be a point of contention from the onset as a higher AWW means more money for you.
It is important that your AWW is correctly calculated . Your AWW is a reflection of our earnings at the time of your injury. There are many ways to calculate your AWW. The AWW is determined by the New York Workers’ Compensation Law Section 14 (Weekly wages basis of compensation). This is also referred to as WCL 14.
Employed in the Same Industry for a Full Year
If you have worked for one or more employers for one year before your accident, and doing the same work, then WCL 14(1) is used to determine your AWW.
Here’s how to calculate your AWW.
1. Take your total annual wage.
2. Divide by the actual number of days you worked.
This becomes your average daily wage.
3. Multiply the average daily wage by 260.
4. Divide this number by 52
This is your average weekly wage (AWW)
Example of an AWW
If you earned $60,000 per year, and you worked 240 days, your AWW would be calculated as follows:
- $60,000 / 240 = $250
- $250 is your daily average
- 250 * 260 = $65,000
- $65,000 is your adjusted gross income
- $65,000 / 52 = $1,250
Thus, your average weekly wage is $1,250 subject to the statutory maximum amount.
Employed in the Same Industry for Less Than a Year
If you worked for an employer for less that one year before your accident, then Workers’ Compensation Law Section 14(2) is used to determine your AWW.
WCL 14(2) requires your employer to provide two numbers:
1. Your payroll information.
2. The payroll of a similar employee. This is a person who did the same or similar job as you who was employed for substantially the whole year.
The average weekly wage determination is then calculated as in the previous example.
Seasonal or Intermittent Workers
If you are a seasonal worker, your AWW should be calculated by multiplying the average daily wage by 200.
As an example, if you earned $35,000 annually and worked for 150 days, then your AWW would be calculated as follows:
- $35,000 / 150 = $233.33 is your daily average
- $233.33 * 200 = $46,666.67
- $46,666.67 is your adjusted gross income
- $46,666.67 / 52 = $897.44
Your average weekly wage will be $897.44, subject to the statutory maximum amount.
Working More Than One Job
Workers’ Compensation Law Section 14(6) accommodates injured workers who had a second job at the time of their accident. This is referred to as “concurrent employment.” If an on the job injury prevents you from earning wages at your other job, those wages should also be replaced. Your earnings from your concurrent job are added to your earnings from your primary employment. This increases your average weekly wage.
The team at Daniella Levi & Associates will use our knowledge and experience to set an AWW that accurately reflects your income.
When you come into our office for a free consultation, you’ll find that our experience dealing with insurance companies will help you get the best possible result.
There is no downside to contacting us to help you with your workers’ comp claim.
The initial consultation is free, the advice is priceless.