What’s Your Average Weekly Wage?
One number drives the value of your Virginia workers compensation claim – the average weekly wage (AWW). Your average weekly wage is based on the amount of money you were making at the time of your workplace accident. The higher your average weekly wage, the more money you will receive if you win your workers’ comp claim. An experienced Virginia workers compensation attorney will make sure your average weekly wage is maximized and includes your regular wages, overtime pay, bonuses, allowances, and vacation pay. A minor mistake with your AWW can cost you thousands of dollars in Virginia workers’ compensation benefits.
Your average weekly wage is determined in the early stages of your workers’ compensation case. The Claim for Benefits/Request for Hearing form contains a section where you enter the amount you believe accurately reflects your average weekly wage at the time you were injured.
Your employer must provide the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission with a wage chart. If the number matches your number, then great. That’s the figure the Commission will use in your initial award.
The employer’s average weekly wage number may differ from your number. You should gather your wage records and payroll information in case there is disagreement. It is a good idea to have a Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer review your wage statement and documents to make sure the proposed figure reflects the correct average weekly wage.
If the parties disagree as to the average weekly wage, then the Commission will decide the correct number. Both parties are bound by this figure unless they provide additional information showing that it is incorrect.
Workplace accident attorney Corey Pollard and the workers compensation law firm of Jenkins, Block & Associates will review the wage statement after receiving information from the employer in discovery. If there is a discrepancy between your reported wage and the wage claimed by your employer, we will review the information with you to determine the correct approach.
How the Virginia Work Comp Commission Calculates Your Average Weekly Wage
Usually the Commission calculates your pre-injury average weekly wage by taking your average earnings for the 52 weeks prior to the work accident. There are however, other methods used by the Commission:
- If you missed more than seven consecutive days in the 52-week period prior to your injury, this lost time is excluded from the calculation
- If you have been employed in the same position you were in at the time of the work injury for less than 52 weeks, your average weekly wage is calculated by dividing your total earnings for the period you have worked by the number of weeks and parts thereof you worked.
- If you have been employed in the same position you were in at the time of your injury for such a short amount of time that it is impractical or unfair to calculate your average weekly wage using the above methods, then your average weekly wage will be the average weekly wage earned during the 52 weeks prior to your injury by a person of the same grade and character employed in the same class of employment in the same community as you.
And remember, you can add wages from similar employment if your workplace injury has caused you wage loss in that job.
Though an average weekly wage calculation may seem simple, it is often the subject of negotiation and litigation. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you figure out which method will lead to a higher average weekly wage, and thus, more benefits and money in your pocket. The greater your AWW, the more you can receive in temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, and permanent partial disability benefits.
Understanding how your workers’ compensation benefits are determined is important. If you were hurt on the job in Virginia, call work injury lawyer Corey Pollard. He can guide you through the process and help you maximize the value of your case, including a top dollar Virginia workers compensation settlement. He’ll also send you a copy of his Virginia Workers’ Compensation Guide.
Corey Pollard Law,
801 E Main St #302a,
Richmond, VA 23219,
United States (US)