An injured worker who remains in a healing period after the injury, is entitled to 2/3 (66.67%) of their average weekly wage, which is referred to as Temporary Total Disability or "TTD."
It is important to recognize how the average weekly wage is calculated because it directly impacts weekly benefits. The injured worker is entitled to the higher of the two calculations.
Under the Wisconsin Worker's Compensation law, average weekly wage is calculated in two ways.
The first option is the employee's hourly wage at the time of the injury multiplied by the hours regularly scheduled to work. For example, an employee making $10 an hour, who usually works 40 hours a week, will have an average weekly wage of $400 ($10 x 40).
There are additional considerations for this equation. For example, shift differentials should be considered. As should overtime if the injured worker was regularly scheduled to work overtime hours. Also, if the employee works alternating shifts from week to week, the average should be used for calculation purposes.
The second option is the actual gross earnings during the 52 weeks before the injury divided by the number of weeks worked during that period. For example, if an employee earned $52,000 in the 52 weeks before the work injury, their average weekly wage would be $1,000.
The number of weeks worked includes any weeks the employee was being paid, including paid vacation or paid sick leave. In addition, all taxable earnings must be included when calculating the gross earnings, including overtime, incentive pay, profit sharing, and bonuses. Other things of value, including meals, rooms, utilities, rent remission, may be part of the gross earnings.
Contact an experienced worker's compensation attorney
These calculations can be complicated and the injured worker should contact an experienced worker's compensation attorney if they believe their weekly benefits are incorrect.
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