Workers Compensation Benefits- How are Wages Calculated?

If you get hurt on the job, you should be able to receive workers compensation benefits. As long as you meet the basic criteria, there’s no reason why your claim would be denied. However, you may have questions about the benefits you’ll receive. Most people understand that their medical care will be covered. What they aren’t so sure about are the weekly benefit they’ll receive. When our Columbus workers comp lawyers first meet with a new client, this is what they want to know about.

Without knowing your work history, there’s only so much we can tell you. This is why it’s always a good idea to meet with an experienced workers compensation lawyer in Ohio before you file your claim. While you need to report your workplace accident immediately, you have some time to file your workers compensation claim. If you have an attorney on hand when you do this, there’s a better chance that it will be handled properly. This means you’ll have a better shot at receiving the benefits you deserve.

Here, we’ll discuss how you qualify for workers compensation in Ohio. We’ll also describe the benefits you’ll receive while out on workers comp. Our Columbus workers comp lawyers will review your payroll records and determine what your average weekly wages are. We’ll also review your medical records to determine how long you may be out of work.

If you have questions about your own workers compensation case, give us a call. We can always schedule your free, initial consultation over the phone. Or, if you prefer, you can do so through our firm’s website.

Your Columbus Workers Comp Lawyer Knows How to Qualify for Benefits

To qualify for workers compensation benefits, you must meet certain criteria. The goal is to make sure the people who receive workers compensation benefits deserve them. For example, if your injuries actually occurred outside of work, then your employer shouldn’t be responsible for your care. The same is true if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.

The basic requirements for workers compensation in Ohio include the following:

  • Your injuries must take place at work or during the normal scope of your employment
  • Whatever injuries you suffer must prevent you from doing your normal job
  • You cannot be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your injury
  • You must agree to take a drug test prior to treatment
  • You can only be seen by a state-approved workers compensation doctor
  • You must report your accident to your employer within a reasonable timeframe
  • You must file your workers compensation claim within 1 year of your accident

As long as you meet these basic criteria, your workers compensation attorney in Ohio should be able to get your claim approved.

There Are 2 Major Types of Workers Compensation Benefits in Ohio

If your workers compensation claim is approved, you’ll receive two main types of benefits. The first benefit is coverage for your medical care. Any treatment you need that is related to your workplace accident will be covered by your employer’s insurance company. This includes both the immediate treatment at the emergency room as well as ongoing care. For example, if you need surgery after your workplace accident, it will be covered by insurance. This includes your hospital stay, surgery, and aftercare.

The second main type of benefit you’ll receive are weekly replacement wages. The way it works in Ohio is a little different than most other states. For the first 12 weeks of workers comp, you’ll receive 72% of your average weekly wages. However, after the first 12 weeks have gone by, your weekly benefits will decrease to just 66% of your average weekly wages.

This sounds great so far, right? The question is, how does the State calculate your average weekly wages?

How Are Your Average Weekly Wages Calculated for Purposes of Workers Compensation?

For most employees, it’s rather simple to figure out what their average weekly wages are. We would just take the last 52 weeks of employment, add up your total wages, and divide by 52. For example, imagine that you made $60,000 last year. This comes out to be $5,000 per months (or, approximately, $1,250 per week.) To be more precise, however, we can take $60,000 and just divide it by 52 (the number of weeks in one year). When we do this, it comes out to be $1,153.

Once we have your average weekly wage, of $1,153, we can then do the calculations to see how much you’ll receive every week. For the first 12 weeks, you’ll get 72% of your average weekly wages. If we take 72% of $1,153, it comes out to be $830 per week. After those first 12 weeks are up, you’ll start to receive just 66% of your average weekly wages. This comes out to be $768 per week.

Now that you can see the numbers in black and white, you realize how little your weekly benefits are. You should also know that there are limits to how much you can receive per week.

Your Workers Compensation Attorney in Ohio Knows the Limits on Benefits

Every state has its own rules when it comes to workers compensation benefits. In Ohio, the most you can receive in any given week is $1,085. In the above example, this would be fine since your weekly benefits wouldn’t be anywhere near the cap of $1,085. However, if you made closer to $80,000 per year, then you would be entitled to more than this weekly maximum.

Therefore, once you reach the point at which your weekly workers compensation benefits exceed the limit of $1,085, you benefits will cap out. Furthermore, no matter how much you’re receiving per week in benefits, you can only collect them for a period of 200 weeks. This comes out to be just shy of 4 years. If, for some reason, you’re still out of work at that point, your benefits would expire.

Reach Out to an Experienced Columbus Workers Comp Lawyer

If you were hurt at work, you deserve to be fairly compensated. The way the laws work in Ohio, you can collect as much as 72% of your average weekly wages. Of course, the insurance company will have to perform the necessary calculations to determine your weekly benefit amount. If you feel that you’ve been slighted somehow, call one of our Columbus workers comp lawyers. We offer our clients a free, initial consultation so you don’t have to pay a dime to have a seasoned professional review your claim.