When applying for worker’s compensation in Maryland, you will discover that you are eligible to receive a percentage of your average weekly wage. Therefore it is very important that your average weekly wage is calculated correctly, or you may get paid less than you are entitled to receive. Here is some basic information to help you better understand how your average weekly wage is determined.
How is the Average Weekly Wage Calculated?
The average weekly wage is calculated based on your gross wages plus wages from overtime. It will be determined based on the information in the file that you give to the Workers’ Compensation Commission before you have your hearing, so you need to make sure that the information provided is correct. It is called the average weekly wage because it is actually based on your average wage over the last 14 weeks. This is done to ensure that workers whose wages vary from week to week will get paid a fair and accurate amount. You do not need to worry if your wages were unusually low the week prior to your injury because the averaging process will make sure you are paid fairly.
What is Included in the Average Weekly Wage?
The Workers’ Compensation Committee and your lawyer will work together to determine the average weekly wage. Your average weekly wage includes many types of wages, so you need to make sure your lawyer knows exactly how much you have been paid and when you have been paid. According to MDCompLaw.com, your average weekly wage includes:
Base wages over the last 14 weeks of employment
You should also tell your lawyer about allowances for meals, transportation, and other expenses. These wages may also count towards your average weekly wage. If you work less than 20 hours at the job where you were injured, it is also possible to include wages you earn from a second job, so make sure your lawyer has all the relevant information. Tips are especially important if you work as a waiter/server or a bartender, so confirm that your lawyer and the Commission are including those as well.
Surprisingly, you may even be eligible for workers’ compensation if you work as a volunteer. If you are injured while volunteering, contact an attorney because you may be entitled to certain benefits.
What if the Average Weekly Wage is Incorrect?
If you do not believe your average weekly wage was calculated correctly or if you believe certain wages were mistakenly left out when it was being determined, you can contest it. You can resolve this dispute by submitting a more accurate statement regarding your weekly wages to the Commission or you can ask for a hearing before the Commission. It is very important that you have an attorney to help you when you are disputing the average weekly wage that was determined for you.
The last thing you want to worry about after you have successfully applied for workers’ compensation is finding out that you are not being paid the correct amount. It is very important that your average weekly wage is determined accurately, so that you will have the support you need to get back on your feet. The attorneys at Ingerman & Horwitz have decades of experience in workers’ compensation proceedings and will make sure you are receiving a fair wage.