How are Benefits Calculated?

I’m Bob Moodie from Friedman Law Offices in Lincoln, Nebraska. Thank you for visiting our blog.

We are often asked about how Workers’ Compensation benefits are calculated. The answer to that question can be very complicated and really should be done on a case by case basis by an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer. However we can talk in general terms about how this is done. First we’ll talk about the calculation of Temporary Disability benefits.

The process starts with determining your “average weekly wage”. Usually this done by actually averaging out, on a weekly basis, the gross wages you have earned for as much of the last 6 months as you worked for that employer.

If you are missing work while recovering from an accident your temporary disability benefits should equal 2/3rds of your “average weekly wage.” However there is a maximum amount per week can be paid for these benefits. That maximum changes each year and currently is about $700 per week.

Two Thirds of Average Weekly Wage Temporary disability is not paid for the first week that you miss from work, unless you are eligible for benefits for more than 6 weeks. Once you get past the first 6 weeks they may need to go back and pay for the first week as well.

Temporary disability is usually paid until your doctors release you to go back to work or until you have reached point when you are not going to get any better, they call that “Maximum medical improvement.” Even if you are not yet back to work, when you reach maximum medical improvement temporary disability benefits will stop. After that we would have to look at whether or not you are eligible for permanent disability benefits and, if so, how much.

Maximum Medical Improvement

If you are allowed to return to work while recovering from an injury but you don’t earn as much as you did before the accident, either because your hours are limited or you pay has been reduced you might be eligible for “temporary partial disability” which would probably be about 2/3rds of the difference between your average weekly wage and the amount you earn on restricted duty.

Temporary Partial Disability

In the next installment of our blog we will talk about the calculation of permanent disability benefits, but if you have questions you should feel free to call us at 800 876-103. There is never a charge to find out if we can help you. Also feel free to leave a comment.

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