By GNGF Design/Development on November 9th, 2023 in
Have you ever wondered how much you would get in workers’ compensation benefits if you suffered an injury on the job? The key lies in understanding your average weekly wage (AWW).
What Is Your Average Weekly Wage?
In a workers’ comp case, your average weekly wage represents your typical weekly earnings before you sustained a workplace injury or illness. Your AWW is necessary for calculating the amount of benefits you are owed for your workers’ compensation claim.
The Basic Formula for AWW Calculations
In Illinois, your AWW is based on how much you earned at work during the 52 weeks leading up to the last full pay period before your injury, illness, or disability. Here are the provisions for this calculation:
- 52-Week Rule: Typically, you sum up all your earnings, excluding overtime and bonuses, for the 52 weeks before your injury. Then, you divide that figure by 52 to reach your AWW.
- Lost Time: If you lose five or more days during 52 weeks of work, subtract those days from the 52 weeks. Then, you divide your earnings by the remaining number of weeks.
- Fewer than 52 Weeks of Employment: If you worked fewer than 52 weeks for the employer at the time of your injury, you divide your earnings-to-date by the actual number of weeks you worked.
- Special Circumstances: If you were employed only for a short time or worked on a casual basis before you got hurt, you can use the AWW of someone in a similar role to calculate your own.
What About Overtime, Bonuses, and Other Income?
If you earn overtime, bonuses, or income from other sources, you might wonder how this additional pay factors into your AWW calculations. While the basic formula for calculating AWW excludes these elements, they are relevant in certain situations:
- Overtime Pay: Under Illinois law, you typically cannot include overtime when calculating your AWW. However, if you work regular or mandatory overtime and it constitutes a significant portion of your income, you might be able to add it in specific circumstances. It is only added in at the “flat rate” of payment and not at the time and a half rate of pay.
- Bonus Pay: Similar to overtime, bonuses are generally excluded from your initial AWW calculation. However, the nature of the bonus matters in this context. If the bonus pay is a gift, such as a holiday bonus that isn’t performance-based, you can’t include it. If you get a performance-based bonus, however, you could potentially include it as part of your standard pay.
- Other Income: If you hold multiple jobs when you get hurt, you could include wages from all your employers in your AWW calculation. However, the employer liable for your workers’ compensation coverage must generally be aware of any other jobs you concurrently work and include as income sources.
How Your AWW Can Affect Your Benefits Payments
Your AWW is the foundation for calculating Illinois workers’ comp wage replacement benefits. If you get hurt on the job, a higher AWW generally translates to higher weekly benefit payments for temporary or permanent disability. Understanding and correctly calculating your AWW is essential for ensuring you receive the benefits you’re entitled to.
Contact an Illinois Workers’ Comp Attorney Today
If you got hurt or sick on the job in Illinois, contact the Noll Law Office as soon as possible. Their experienced team can handle every aspect of your case while you recover, including the accurate calculation of your AWW. Trust them to consider all the relevant factors and get you the full benefits you are entitled to.
Reach out to The Noll Law Office at 217-414-8889 for your complimentary initial consultation with an Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer.