In NY, an injured worker is entitled to weekly payments equalling two-thirds (2/3) of their salary while they are out of work. The figure used for their pre-injury salary is known as their “average weekly wage” (“AWW”). How does the Workers’ Compensation Board determine their AWW? Well, the answer is a bit complicated.
In determining AWW, the Workers’ Compensation Board takes into consideration what the injured employee earned on average for the 52 weeks preceding the date of accident. There are numerous ways of calculating that average, but the most common way is by dividing the total amount by 52 to get the AWW. Generally speaking, the insurance carrier will reach out to the injured employee’s employer and obtain a payroll documenting every paycheck that the injured employee received for the 52 weeks preceding the date of accident.
What if someone had more than one job at the time of the accident? Well it is important to note that if an injured employee had multiple jobs at the time of the accident, all wages from all jobs should be included when calculating the AWW. This is known as “concurrent employment.” However, the obligation to provide proof of concurrent employment is on the claimant/injured employee. There are several ways to prove concurrent employment, however, it generally requires a hearing before a Judge.
Also, problems sometimes come up in determining the correct AWW in a case where the injured employee hasn’t filed proper tax returns and/or works off the books. As always, if you ever have any questions or would like our help representing you, consultations are always free and we work off of a contingency fee. We don’t get paid unless you get paid!