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How Much Does Workers’ Comp Pay For Lost Wages?

Workers’ compensation is a critical and necessary safety net for many New York workers. When injured on the job or while in the performance of job-related duties, New Yorkers often rely on workers’ comp payments to cover medical bills and maintain financial stability if they need to take time off work.

But just how much does workers’ comp pay for lost wages, and can you expect the maximum amount when you file your claim?

To discover the answers to these questions and more, please read on. Alternatively, the experienced team of Schwartzapfel Lawyers can answer your questions personally and directly when you call 1-516-342-2200 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation today.

What Are Lost Wage Benefits In Workers’ Compensation?

Lost wage benefits constitute one of the most important parts of workers’ compensation payments. To put it concisely, they are intended to compensate injured workers for the money they can’t earn at work while they recover and receive medical care.

Workers’ compensation coverage is an invaluable part of the benefits package. In many cases, serious injuries prevent injured workers from going to work and earning a consistent income. Many companies probably won’t pay injured workers, even if they are hurt on the job, while performing job-related duties, or on company premises, as they have workers’ comp insurance policies for that reason.

In fact, almost every company operating in New York is legally required to have workers’ compensation. That’s why filing a claim is crucial if you or a loved one are injured in the workplace or while performing work-related duties. Note: No one has to be at fault for you to qualify for compensation payouts.

Workers’ compensation lost wage benefits serve to compensate for the income you have lost. To this end, it’s important to know that these benefits are often disbursed in tandem with medical payments and other forms of coverage.

Moreover, you should be aware that workers may not qualify for lost wage benefits from workers’ compensation if their employer decides to preemptively cover costs for lost wages. That said, an employer may be reimbursed for payments made out of pocket via their workers’ compensation insurance policy.

How Are Workers’ Compensation Rates Determined?

When it comes to all workers’ compensation rates, they are determined using a defined formula:

  • Workers’ comp payment amount = 2/3 average weekly wage (AWW) x degree of disability

Put in simple terms, you’ll receive two-thirds of your average weekly rate while taking your degree of disability into account.

Say that you have an average weekly wage of $400 per week. You are partially disabled at a rate of about (50) percent. That means you’ll receive $132 per week. Here’s how those numbers look when plugged into the above formula:

  • 2/3 of your average weekly wage is $264
  • $264 x 50% = $132

For more on this and related topics, call Schwartzapfel Lawyers now at no charge. Simply dial 1-516-342-2200 and speak directly with one of our experienced workers’ comp attorneys.

How Much Do You Get from Workers’ Comp for Lost Wages?

As explained above, the maximum amount you can get from workers’ comp for lost wages is two-thirds of your AWW when accounting for your degree of disability. Your average weekly wage is calculated based on the average amount of money you earned over a (52)-week timeframe directly prior to your injuring incident.

For example, if you earned $500 per week for (50) out of the last (52) weeks, then started to earn $600 per week for the last two (2) weeks of the last year, your average weekly wage will likely come out to the average of $500 for (50) weeks and $600 for two (2) weeks. As such, it is unlikely that you will receive workers’ comp for lost wages based wholly on the $600 weekly rate. Furthermore, you will likely not receive workers’ comp payments based on future promotions or unrealized income (such as incoming tips).

Degree of Disability & Effects on Lost Wages Compensation

Your degree of disability will typically be calculated based on the following categories:

  • Totally disabled: 100%
  • Marked disabled: 75%
  • Moderately disabled: 50%
  • Mildly disabled: 25%

You can also be marked with a disability at any rate in between. If you are any level of disability aside from 100% totally disabled, your disability will likely be noted as partially disabled in your workers’ compensation file.

Note: The more disabled you are rated, the more workers’ comp payments you can get for lost wages. In theory, this is because, if you are more disabled, you are unable to complete part-time work or work with reduced exertion requirements (e.g., you can’t be assigned to reception for a few weeks while you recover if you are 100% totally disabled).

Minimum and Maximum Lost Wage Compensation

At the time of this writing, your workers’ comp payments for lost wages are also affected by federally mandated minimums and maximums. According to the law, the minimum weekly benefit may not be less than $150 per week if your accident occurred after May 1, 2013. That means, at minimum, you’ll receive $150 weekly for lost wages (and medical payments – see more below).

Meanwhile, the maximum amount you can receive per week in workers’ compensation payments usually increases from year to year, starting with July 1 of each successive year. For 2023, the total weekly maximum award you can receive from workers’ compensation (for lost wages and medical coverage) is $1,145.43. Thus, even if you earned more money than this and are totally disabled, that’s all you’ll get from the workers’ compensation program.

However, if that’s not enough to cover your medical bills and associated expenses, you may file a claim to recover additional damages. If that’s the case, you should speak with knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorneys like those at Schwartzapfel Lawyers right away. Our legal representatives are more than ready to tackle your case, so please visit us online or call 1-516-342-2200 to get started with a free consultation today.

When Do You Get Workers’ Comp Payments for Lost Wages?

In the aftermath of an injury, you may wish to recover your workers’ comp payments as quickly as possible. Fortunately, you could be entitled to a portion of your lost wages almost immediately if:

  • Your injury keeps you from work for more than seven (7) days
  • Your pay is immediately reduced because you work fewer hours or are required to do other work at your current place of employment

Here, you should note that you may only receive lost wage benefits if you are totally or partially disabled AND cannot work for more than seven (7) days. What this means is that you cannot typically receive lost wage benefits for the first seven (7) days of your disability, no matter its severity or your financial situation.

After (14) days pass, however, you may be able to receive lost wage benefits retroactively, as paid from the first workday that you were unable to work.

Normally, this means that you will likely start receiving payments within (18) days of being injured once your workers’ compensation claim is accepted by the insurer. Alternatively, you should start receiving payments within (10) days after your employer was aware you became injured through an incident report, whichever is later.

This can get complicated if your employer’s insurance company does not accept your workers’ compensation claim. If that happens, you should consult with skilled workers’ compensation attorneys without delay. The right lawyers can negotiate with the insurance company, help you gather evidence, and ensure that you start seeing payments as quickly as possible.

How Do Lost Wages Affect Medical Payments from Workers’ Comp?

Your total workers’ compensation payments are made up of both lost wage payments and medical payments. They can’t go above the maximum weekly amount. For example, if you are set to receive $700 in lost wage payments, but another $500 in medical payments, you still won’t be able to recover more than $1,145.43 in weekly payments from the workers’ compensation program.

In this way, your lost wage payments shouldn’t really affect your medical payments or vice versa. Both components contribute to the overall amount of compensation you are eligible to receive, so there is no need to be concerned about recovering an excessive amount.

Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers Today

Workers’ comp payments are a serious business. Even more seriously, they can help you recover from financial hardships in the aftermath of a workplace injury. Still, your workers’ comp payments might not be enough, or you may believe that your employer is liable for additional payments or other financial compensation. In these cases and others, you should contact experienced workers’ compensation attorneys like the professionals at Schwartzapfel Lawyers.

For the past 40 years, our seasoned legal team has helped thousands of clients just like you recover the money and benefits they deserved. To take advantage of our more-than 150 years of combined experience, call 1-516-342-2200 or contact us online today. It will be our honor and privilege to fight for you!

DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 1-516-342-2200 now!


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