Concurrent Employment – Limiting and Litigating Average Weekly Wage

Claimants may have more than one job at the time of their work incident. Pursuant to New York Workers’ Compensation Law Section 14(6), the average weekly wage can be increased if the claimant has two or more jobs at the time of the work injury. Therefore, this issue of concurrent employment is raised by a claimant, and not a carrier, because it can mean more indemnity benefits to the claimant. When concurrent employment is raised, the claimant should provide written documentary proof of concurrent employment, …

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What to Expect with Wage Expectancy: A Primer

When dealing with claims of injured workers under the age of 25, the wage expectancy statute of New York’s workers’ compensation law looms overhead that first time you calculate the claimant’s wage at the time of injury. While it does not apply in every instance, there are some ways to effectively avoid pitfalls. One major key to your defense is setting up a game plan as early as possible.

The wage expectancy provision of the workers’ compensation law was enacted in recognition of the fact …

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Use Of 200 Multiple For Part-Time/Intermittent Workers Often Results In Windfall To Claimants

One of the most contentious parts of a claim can be setting the average weekly wage (AWW), as it determines a claimant’s benefit rate for the life of the claim, including entitlement to reduced earnings. Certainly, at times, the method chosen by the Board for setting an AWW can arguably result in an “artificial inflation” of a claimant’s wages. This is particularly true with part-time or sporadic employees, who oftentimes work far less than what one would normally consider to be “part-time” employment.

The method …

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New Year, New Compensation Rates!

Every year, the Maryland legislature mandates the Workers’ Compensation Commission to determine the maximum compensation rates for the state Average Weekly Wage. The Department of Labor and Licensing Regulation computes the state Average Weekly Wage and provides that figure to the Commission for consideration of compensation rates for the fiscal year. This year, the Average Weekly Wage of workers covered by Maryland Unemployment is $1,116.00, an increase of 2% from 2018.

The increase in Maryland’s Average Weekly Wage does not affect the maximum compensation rates …

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Average Weekly Wage Calculation

Average weekly wage (AWW) can be a significant factor in determining a carrier’s exposure in a workers’ compensation case in New York because it is the basis for indemnity benefits calculation for the duration of the case.  The compensation rate on a case is two-thirds of the AWW, subject to a statutory cap.

There are several methods for calculating AWW in New York.  New York Workers’ Compensation Law (WCL) § 14 controls, and there is extensive case law from the New York Workers’ Compensation Board …

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Maryland Courts Affirm that the Average Weekly Wage Will Not be Liberally Construed

The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act is to be liberally construed in favor of the claimant. However, there are boundaries, one of which is the computation of a claimant’s average weekly wage as the Court of Special Appeals articulated in Stine v. Montgomery County, 237 Md.App. 374 (2018). In Stine, the claimant was working as a volunteer emergency medical technician (EMT) for Montgomery County while studying as a nursing student. On duty, he injured his foot stepping off an ambulance and initiated a workers’ …

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The War on Wages

A common issue in the workers’ compensation world is properly setting the claimant’s average weekly wage (AWW). Of course, claimant’s counsel will always look for a way to establish the highest AWW possible. It is important to know the how to properly set the AWW, even in unique situations, because adding even a few dollars to the AWW can greatly affect the value of a claim.

The AWW of an injured employee at the time of the injury should be used as the basis for …

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It’s All About the Money — Recent Developments Regarding the Calculation of Claimant’s Average Weekly Wage

Recently, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland (CSA) weighed in on the calculation of claimant’s average weekly wage when an employee, hired for full-time employment, involuntarily worked in a part-time capacity in the weeks leading up to his accidental injury. In Richard Beavers Construction, Inc., et al. v. Wagstaff, 2018 WL 1129655 (2018), the CSA held that the Workers’ Compensation Commission properly determined a claimant’s average weekly wage based on the claimant’s anticipated 40 hour work week rather than using the six weeks …

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The Department of Labor Announces Increased National Average Weekly Wage Now in Effect

The time has come for the annual adjustment in Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) rates. The Department of Labor, which administers the Longshore Act, has announced the new National Average Weekly Wage (NAWW) of $735.89; an increase of 2.46 percent over the previous NAWW. This NAWW will be in effect from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018, and will affect ongoing permanent total disability benefits and death benefits.

The increase in the NAWW will also lead to a slight increase in the …

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North Carolina Court of Appeals Holds Calculations of Average Weekly Wage Must Be “Fair and Just” to Both Employer and Employee

The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that when calculating the average weekly wage of an employee, the calculation must be “fair and just” to both the employer and the employee.

In Ball v. Bayada Home Health Care, the plaintiff alleged to have suffered injuries to her left hand, bilateral knees, and right hip while employed as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in February 2011. Her accident took place on the first day of work with a new patient — right after she had …

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