Workers’ Compensation benefits are paid out based on one’s Average Weekly Wage (AWW). Often times, the insurance carrier will simply use the previous year’s payroll in order to calculate your AWW. Payroll is an important tool in determining your AWW, but it may not include the reasonable value of board, rent, housing, lodging, tips, and/or commissions that are paid out as part of your employment. Concurrent employment should also be considered if the claimant was employed with a second job at the time of the accident.
Establish the Highest Average Weekly Wage (“AWW”) Possible
Establishing the highest possible AWW is a vital component of maximizing your benefits and possible settlement. Even though there is a maximum weekly benefit of $844.29 (for any accident occurring after July 1, 2015), the AWW becomes important when the insurance carrier attempts to reduce your weekly benefits. A higher AWW places a higher burden on the insurance carrier when attempting to reduce your benefits.
Concurrent employment will result in the salary of the Claimant’s second job being incorporated into the Claimant’s average weekly wage. Concurrent employment is only applicable if you are working the second job the same week that you are injured from your other place of employment.
What if I’m Young and Haven’t Worked at My Company for a long period of time?
For any claimant 25 years or younger, wage expectancy should be calculated upon evidence of permanency. A claimant must request the carrier to produce a Lamiano payroll, which is an attempt to estimate what the claimant would have been earning with the same employer, in the same job, if they had worked until 25 years old. In New York, claimants under 25 years old are given this protection in order to ensure that benefits are paid at a reasonable rate of compensation rather than a reflection of the wages for entry-level employees.
Don’t just assume that the AWW set by the insurance carrier is accurate, but consider all the factors mentioned above to maximize your weekly benefit and settlement.
Hire a Lawyer – contact Schwartzapfel® Lawyers, P.C. today
Research has shown that individuals who hire an attorney for their Workers’ Compensation benefits receive three-and-a-half times more in compensation than those who do not. Your company’s insurance provider will do everything in their power to limit the benefits you receive, so you need someone with experience and know-how at your side to ensure that you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us today by calling 1-877-737-4806 or by filling out an online contact form.