Several things determine your compensation rate:
- Wages from all employment at the time of the injury. If you were working two jobs at the time of the injury, make sure that your claims manager knows about all wages.
- Overtime if worked regularly. You will be paid for the average overtime hours at your regular hourly rate. For example, you work an average of 10 hours per month of overtime. Your regular hourly rate is $15 per hour. For purposes of calculating your time loss compensation, your wages will include $150 per month in overtime — 10 hours X $15 per hour. You are not credited for $22.50 per hour, which would be the normal overtime rate.
- Bonuses. If you received regular bonuses, the average of the bonuses during a 12-month period is added to your wages.
- Medical, dental and vision insurance premiums that your employer paid for you and your family. Your time loss compensation will be adjusted for this amount when your employer no longer pays those benefits for you.
- Marital status and number of dependents. Single workers are paid 60 percent of their total date of injury wages. Married workers will be paid 65 percent for the life of the claim, even if your marriage later ends. An additional 2 percent will be paid for each child conceived or born prior to the date of injury, up to a maximum of 80 percent. As your children turn 18 (23 if they remain in school on a full-time basis), your time loss compensation will be reduced by their 2 percent rate.
There are other variables in calculating time loss compensation — seasonal work, tips, room and board, piecework and commissions are just a few.
Getting paid the correct rate of compensation is extremely important. Whatever wages are determined by the Department at the beginning of your claim will set your time loss compensation or pension benefits for the rest of your claim. Watch for an official wage order issued by the Department. You will only have 60 days from that order to make a written protest to prove higher wages.
Contact us so that we can review your date of injury earnings to make sure that your time loss compensation is correct.