How Do I Calculate My Average Weekly Wage?
Your Average Weekly Wage (AWW) is the single most important factor in the value of your workers’ compensation action. It is the basis for all monetary calculations the workers’ compensation board will make throughout your case. Making sure your AWW is calculated properly at the outset of your case can mean the difference between hundreds or even thousands of dollars in your pocket over the course of your action. There are several different methods for calculating an AWW. The method you choose depends heavily on how long you held the job you were in at the time of the accident.
Employed in the same industry, for a full year, 5 days per week
If you held essentially the same job, 5 days per week, for a full year your AWW is calculated using the “260 multiplier.” First, take your total wage for the year prior to the injury and divide that number by the actual number of days you worked to get your “daily wage.” Then, take your daily wage and multiply it by 260 (which is the average number of days per year worked by a 5-day per week worker). Then, divide that amount by 52 to get your “Average Weekly Wage.”
For instance, let’s say you made $40,000 in the year before your accident and you worked 248 days. Your average weekly wage calculation would look like this:
$40,000 ÷ 248 = $161.29; then $161.29 X 260 = $41,935.48; then $41,935.48 ÷ 52 = $806.45
So, your average weekly wage using the 260 multiplier would be $806.45
Not employed in the same industry for substantially a full year
If you only worked part of the year, or if your job changed substantially mid-way through the year, it is important to figure out what you actual average wage was in the job you held at the time you were injured. In order to do that your employer may be asked to provide the payroll information for a “similar worker” who has worked the whole year, so that the Workers’ Compensation Board can see what your AWW would be if you had worked that position for a full year. In that situation the same calculation as above would be applied, but using the similar workers’ wages instead of yours.
Seasonal or Intermittent Workers
If you hold a job in which you are only employed for part of the year, in road construction or landscaping, the court may apply a “200 multiplier” to determine your AWW. So, if you made $40,000 in the year before your accident, but you only work April-November (160 days), your average weekly wage calculation might look like this:
$40,000 ÷ 160=$250; then $250 X 200=$50,000; then $50,000 ÷ 52= $961.54
So you’re average weekly wage in this scenario, using the 200 multiplier would be $961.54.
At Segar & Sciortino we’ve helped thousands of people get the proper AWW to ensure that they get all of the benefits they are owed. If you have questions about your workers compensation matter, give us a call or send us a note.