In DC, the maximum workers comp benefit rate an injured worker receives when he cannot work changes from year to year.
In 2018, the max compensation rate is $1,491.90. Here's what that means and how it works:
If you're hurt at work in DC, or hurt working for a DC company, your workers comp benefits (the amount the workers comp insurance company pays you while you can't work due to your injuries) is 2/3 of your average weekly wages. The average weekly wage is averaged over the 26 weeks, or six months before you got hurt (so if your income varies because of overtime, bonuses, per diem, etc., save your pay stubs so you can verify the insurance company included all of your income).
If you have a second job in DC, and worked at the second job during the six months before the injury, you should add that to the calculation as well - your workers comp benefits will be based on combining the income from both jobs (a lot of people don't know this).
How does the maximum compensation rate work? It's basically the top cut off of what workers comp insurance companies have to pay you if your average weekly wage is high enough.
So if you were hurt at work in 2018, if your average weekly wage is $2,237.85 or higher, you would receive the max compensation rate.
It's also important to get the average weekly wage right - making sure it includes bonuses, overtime, raises, combining income from your second job, etc. - because that will determine the benefit rate for other DC workers comp benefits you may get in the future.
Here are 2 examples of workers comp benefits you may get in the future:
If you return to light duty work (can't do your regular job because of the injury, you have medical restrictions, or the doctor says you can't work as many hours) and you're now earning less money than before your injury, you should get temporary partial disability benefits.
If your injury is permanent and causes permanent damage to an arm, leg, hand, foot , etc. (not the neck or back - but that could be the cause of the original injury) you should get permanent partial disability benefits.
Both types of benefits can be paid at the maximum compensation rate for 2018.
Most people have questions - and you don't want to make a mistake and lose money on this. So don't let your adjuster, as nice as she may seem to be, take advantage of you on this (that is her job after all...)
Call us today at (202) 393 - 3320 for the free resources you need to make sure you don't make a mistake and get taken advantage of.