How Do You Know Your Workers’ Comp Rate Is Correct?


Workers’ Comp Benefits In D.C. Are Based On ALL Of Your Income

That’s usually where the problem comes in. The workers’ comp insurance company is supposed to take all of your income from the 26 weeks (six months) before your injury. The average of that is the amount your weekly benefits are based on – it’s called your average weekly wage.

But they can’t always count. They need to count all overtime, differentials, bonuses, tips, wages – everything. The adjuster doesn’t always get the right information on the wages or doesn’t understand the need to count tips and bonuses, or doesn’t have time to deal with it.

Attentive Businesswoman Holding Paper Letter in Hands Reading Important InformationIt’s one of the first things we do for a new client who was hurt at work. And sometimes it pays off big.

Here’s a good example of how we doubled our client’s workers comp benefits by including all his income – it ultimately led to a very favorable settlement. And he had no idea the insurance company was paying him the wrong amount before he came to us.

No one would – and workers’ comp insurance companies know that. They know 99% of injured workers aren’t going to check that or really know their rights.

If You Have A Second Job, We Help You Get Benefits From That Too

And here’s another tip – if you’re working a second job at the time you get hurt, wages from both jobs are included in the calculation. We represent a nurse who had a second part-time job as a home health aid and the insurance company was only paying her benefits based on one job. We forced them to include income from both jobs and that increased her benefits by over $200 per week. Just like that. It literally pays to have us as your workers’ comp lawyers!

We Make It Easy – All You Have To Do Is Call

Looking for help in a similar situation? Call us today at 202-393-3320 for the help you need and the benefits you deserve.

First, It Is Important You File For Benefits In The Right State

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 worker’s 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, but The Maximum Rate Can also Vary From Year To Year

The maximum compensation rate is the number 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 worker’s 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.

For Example, The Maximum Rate In 2017 Was $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.

Interview Employee Reading a Resume with the Job Seeker SittingBe 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? Call Us Today To Get The Help You Need

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.

You Can Get Social Security Disability Benefits While You’re On Workers Comp in DCLegally increase your SSDI when you are on D.C.

Social security disability benefits are available to people who have been injured at work in D.C. (plus Maryland, Virginia, and other states). And of course, social security disability is available to people who qualify for any number of medical conditions or injuries, whether or not they are caused by work, a serious car accident, a disease, etc. A lot of our worker’s comp clients also get social security because their injuries are severe and will prevent them from going back to work at all. But when you’re on workers comp benefits, your social security is reduced because the social security administration can take an offset for workers comp benefits – the only thing they can take an offset, or credit for.

Workers’ comp benefits are not reduced because someone is on social security, however. So our clients typically apply for social security (and we refer them to a lawyer who specializes in social security cases – we don’t handle those cases) for several reasons – even if they are getting the minimum from social security, it is a benefit they earned and deserve.

Plus, what if something happens with your worker’s comp case – your benefits get cut off and you have to wait for a hearing, you lose your case, and the worker’s comp insurance company goes bankrupt? Those things may be unlikely, but why take the risk? Social security can at least provide some income to help if something goes wrong with your worker’s comp case.

How Can You Get The Most Out Of Your Workers Comp and SSDI Benefits?

The way to maximize your recovery (and that’s what we do for our clients) is to look at all potential sources of benefits you can be entitled to. And settling your D.C. workers comp case, if you do it right, can increase your social security disability benefits. Social security law and regulations allow a lump sum workers comp settlement to be pro-rated over the injured worker’s life expectancy so that you can reduce the amount of the offset and increase your social security benefits after the settlement. For example, after we settled the D.C. workers’ comp case of one of our clients, his social security benefits increased by $700 per month. We write our settlements this way; it’s perfectly legal and the best thing for our clients.

Is it complicated? Sure, but that’s why you need a lawyer who understands how to maximize the value of your recovery after a serious work injury. That’s what we do.

Contact Our Experienced DC Workers Comp Lawyers To Help with Workers Comp and SSDI

If we can help you with a worker’s compensation case or question, give us a call today at 202-393-3320. You’ll speak to someone from our office the same day and get resources you can use. And we’ll send you a free, no-obligation book on D.C. workers comp law and benefits (we even pay the postage) so you can get the answers you need.

How Long Will My DC Workers Compensation Case Take, And What Kind of Benefits Will I Receive?

The Length of Your Case Depends on the Severity of Your Injury and the Physical Demands of Your Job. Your case should take as long as necessary to get you all of the benefits and medical treatment you need for your work injury, and for you to get back to health. Unfortunately, you can’t speed this up or slow this down, it just depends on your recovery, medical treatment, and the extent of your injuries. Permanent injuries will take longer, of course, because we want to make sure we can get you everything you need to take care of yourself and your family now and in the long run. If you had surgery, you may be able to go back to work on light duty while you complete physical therapy.

Every day we do what’s best for people in their specific situations. So you can expect a thorough and specific plan to get you and your family what you need.

Sometimes that’s a settlement for a minor injury that comes relatively quickly and allows you to put that money to good use. Other times, it’s making sure you have ongoing medical care in the future should you need it. Sometimes it’s transitioning to a new light-duty career. T

Whatever will work best for you and your family is what we’ll advise you to do. We’re going to make sure that it gets done whether it takes a couple of months or a couple of years.

Two Types of Temporary Disability in Washington, DC

There are two types of temporary disability: temporary total disability and temporary partial disability (also referred to as “wage-loss” temporary disability). But, let’s talk about temporary partial disability today to answer your question. Click here for more information about temporary total disability.

When workers get injured on the job, it can take some time to recover and to reach maximum medical improvement. In addition to rest, medications, physical therapy, and knowing your case is in good hands, there’s one more thing that we’ve found that can speed up the recovery process: going back to work.

How? See how slowly getting back to work can actually help you recover.

Since going back to work can help, many injured workers go back to work on the advice of their treating physician. The treating physician will assess your recovery and give you medical restrictions before going back to work – maybe working part-time, or performing a light-duty version of your job that will not put too much stress on you or aggravate your injury.

If you’re making less by working light-duty because of your injuries and your doctor’s advice to only do light-duty work, then you are eligible for temporary partial disability. That can be calculated every week or every two weeks depending on how often you are paid. You should be receiving TPD benefits in addition to your light duty salary or hours.

But, of course, the laws are different in different states. And, it matters more when it comes to the compensation you stand to receive if you’re injured at work and can only return by doing light duty.

Is the insurance adjuster telling you which doctor you can see or where to get your medical care? Confused about which state you should file workers’ compensation benefits in, and what your rights are? Fed up with that nurse case manager who shows up at your doctor’s appointments?

The Difference Between Social Security Disability Benefits & Workers’ Compensation

Social security is a government-funded program for disabled workers, and it doesn’t cost anything to be eligible to receive it, but you do need to have a certain amount of time spent working in order to be eligible. SSDI is what we call an “entitlement” program, which means you pay into it as a tax while you are working and it’s there if you need to use it. You also receive it for as long as you’re disabled, but it will be converted at retirement age to Social Security retirement.

Usually, you don’t need a lawyer to apply for social security and can do the initial application online. If your claim is denied, that’s typically when you need to get a lawyer. On the other hand, workers’ compensation is benefits provided to workers who are injured on the job or have a work-related illness. These benefits are intended to help the injured worker pay for medical treatment to treat the injury and as a supplemental income to partially replace lost wages. Temporary total disability benefits are paid while the worker recuperates away from work. If the condition has lasting consequences after the worker heals, permanent disability benefits may be paid. In the case of a fatality, the worker’s dependents receive survivor benefits.

Many workers comp insurance companies will start by paying benefits and medical treatment at first, but they can deny your claim at any time for virtually any reason. Unlike in some states, there is nothing that requires the worker’s comp insurance company to pay your benefits after you get hurt at work and file your claim for workers’ compensation. You have to continually prove you are entitled to those benefits. This is why it’s important to speak to an experienced D.C. worker’s compensation attorney.

Understanding Social Security Offsets While On Workers’ Compensation

With a serious work injury that prevents you from working for more than 1 year, you may be eligible for both worker’s compensation benefits and social security disability. Workers who have a permanent injury that will prevent them from working for many years are often awarded social security disability as well.

In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you have to prove your work injury prevents you from working. Social security looks at the whole person – all of the person’s medical conditions or injuries.

There is an offset, however. That means that social security benefits will be reduced to take into account the worker’s compensation benefits you are getting after an on-the-job injury. Currently, the Social Security Administration uses a formula to determine the offset, or reduction, in the amount they pay.

It’s important to know that the worker’s comp benefits are not reduced. Also, once the worker’s compensation case settles, you have the ability to reduce the amount of the social security offset, so your social security benefits should go up.

Also, a lot of our clients tell us they applied for social security, got denied, and had to appeal. It seems most people are awarded social security after an appeal and hearing.

Speak To An Experienced Injury And Disability Lawyer Today

This is a complicated process and it can be very easy to make mistakes without the right information. Our clients work with one of the most experienced D.C. worker’s compensation and trial attorneys in the DMV, who literally wrote the book on D.C. Worker’s Compensation. Avoid costly mistakes that could cost you thousands of dollars every week by calling us today at 202-393-3320.

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  • Story Of Success

    After A Successful Settlement, a Severely Injured Young Man Now Has the Resources to Live Independently

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    July 26, 2022

    Mr. Kearney and Mr. Donahoe were excellent attorneys. They were very caring toward my son and myself. They always explained everything in detail and kept in touch with us, updating us about the case. Whenever we would call or needed a question answered, Mr. Kearney or his assistant was always there to help. My son and I are very happy and satisfied with the outcome of the case. Mr. Kearney and Mr. Donahoe were the best and I would highly recommend them to other people.

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  • Story Of Success

    After A Successful Settlement, a Severely Injured Young Man Now Has the Resources to Live Independently

    Rated 5 out of 5
    July 26, 2022

    Mr. Kearney and Mr. Donahoe were excellent attorneys. They were very caring toward my son and myself. They always explained everything in detail and kept in touch with us, updating us about the case. Whenever we would call or needed a question answered, Mr. Kearney or his assistant was always there to help. My son and I are very happy and satisfied with the outcome of the case. Mr. Kearney and Mr. Donahoe were the best and I would highly recommend them to other people.

    M.S., Manassas, Va
  • Story Of Success

    After A Successful Settlement, a Severely Injured Young Man Now Has the Resources to Live Independently

    Rated 5 out of 5
    July 26, 2022

    Mr. Kearney and Mr. Donahoe were excellent attorneys. They were very caring toward my son and myself. They always explained everything in detail and kept in touch with us, updating us about the case. Whenever we would call or needed a question answered, Mr. Kearney or his assistant was always there to help. My son and I are very happy and satisfied with the outcome of the case. Mr. Kearney and Mr. Donahoe were the best and I would highly recommend them to other people.

    M.S., Manassas, Va
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