Workers' compensation rates can vary. You may know that they can vary greatly from state to state - which is why it's important to file in the correct state. Filing your workers comp claim in the wrong place can mean hundreds of dollars lost in workers compensation benefits every week - click here to see how we doubled how much our client was receiving in workers' compensation benefits.
Not only can the workers' comp rate vary from state to state, the maximum rate can vary from year to year.
The maximum compensation rate is the amount of benefits high wage earners in DC will receive. Remember, workers comp benefits while you are out of work because of an on the job injury are 2/3 of your average weekly income (in D.C. the average is usually calculated using your last 26 weeks of income). The max rate is the top amount the workers comp insurance company has to pay you under the law. In DC for example, the maximum workers' compensation rate is set every year. Take for instance that the maximum workers' compensation rate in DC in 1985 was only $396....compare that to the relatively updated figure for 2017 below:
2017 - $1,467.46
$1,467.76 - that's the maximum compensation rate in DC for workers injured on the job in 2017, while the minimum rate is $366.86.
Let's say you worked a ton of overtime, got raises or bonuses or had two jobs in the six months before you were hurt (remember you can add income from a second job) and your average weekly wage was $2,700.00 per week - normally, you'd get 2/3 of that, or $1,800.00 but your benefits would hit the cap and you'd receive $1,467.46 per week in workers comp benefits.
Be careful here - you still want to calculate your average weekly wage as high as possible because that will be used to calculate partial benefits if you go back to work light duty and earn less money because of your injuries. Most people don't realize that, so watch out for that trap.
And, why is it important to know what the rate was in previous years?
If you're a high wage earner entitled to workers' compensation benefits and you've been getting underpaid (meaning the rate at which you've been paid is lower than the maximum rate you should have been receiving - many times because all of your earnings weren't included in the calculation) we can go back to correct the rate and increase the compensation you receive. This would make a huge difference, especially for high wage workers. If you are entitled to just $300 more a week for example, then that's $1,200 more, every month, of benefits just because of this rule.
The workers' comp insurance company didn't explain any of these differences to you?
Give us a call at 202-393-3320 and we'll review your case with you. Or, you can order one of our free books and guides written just for injured workers to make sure you're getting the correct benefit rate for you and your family.