This is the second in a series of blog articles about wage loss payments (temporary total disability and temporary partial disability benefits) in Georgia Workers’ Compensation claims. The first article in this series discussed what temporary total and temporary partial disability benefits are and when they are first paid in a workers’ compensation case.
This article will discuss how the amount of your temporary total disability benefit check is determined.
Determining the amount of your TTD benefits
The amount of your temporary total disability benefit check is based on the amount you were earning from your employer on average at the time of your injury. Your earnings can include wages, tips, per diems, and other benefits (for a more complete discussion, see this article).
Your earnings used to determine your TTD benefit amount can also include other jobs that you were working at the time of your injury as long as the work was similar to the job in which you were injured.
How is Average Weekly Wage Calculated?
In most situation, your employer or their insurance company should take your gross earnings from the thirteen weeks before your injury. The average of the thirteen week of earnings is your “average weekly wage”.
You should receive a document called a Form WC-6 that explains how your average weekly wage was calculated. Be sure and save this document so you can refer to it later.
When you are paid temporary total disability or permanent partial disability benefits, your check should be two-thirds of that average weekly wage, subject to a maximum of $575 per week (or less if your date of injury was prior to July 1, 2016). So, if your average weekly wage was $600, you will receive $400 per week (two-thirds of $600) in temporary total disability benefits.
In some situations where you did not work most of the thirteen weeks before your injury, the insurance company will use the wages of a similar employee to determine your average weekly wage. It can be difficult to determine who qualifies as a similar employee. The insurance company may try to use someone who has lower wages than you.
If there is no similar employee, your “full time weekly wage” will be used. In either one of these situations, your temporary total disability amount will still be two-thirds of the average weekly wage subject to the maximum amount mentioned above.
What about temporary partial disability benefits?
Temporary partial disability benefits are paid when you make less per week than you were making before your injury. Your average weekly wage is important in calculating those benefits. We discuss the payment of temporary partial disability benefits and how the amount of temporary partial disability benefits is determined in this article.