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

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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 minimum and maximum compensation rates in LHWCA claims. Beginning on October 1, 2017, the maximum compensation rate is $1,471.78, and the minimum compensation rate is $367.94. Remember temporary total disability payments are not entitled to any increase based on the new NAWW, that rate is to be determined based on the rates in effect on the date of injury. Any medical mileage reimbursements will continue to be paid at the 2017 IRS rate of $0.535, but that is likely to be adjusted by the IRS for 2018.

Goldberg Segalla is pleased to offer an updated LHWCA reference guide upon request.

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