How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Pay in Pennsylvania?
In general, PA workers’ comp does not fully cover your complete salary. It provides only a portion of the income that you made at work before the incident as well as covers the medical bills that are caused by the injury. It is important to understand how Pennsylvania workers’ comp benefits are calculated if you have been the victim of a workplace accident.
PA Workers’ Comp Formula for Calculating Benefits
The primary formula for calculating your benefits under workers’ compensation depends on your income over the past year. Your income for the full year, or 52-week period, preceding the injury will be divided into four quarters of 13 weeks each. Additional amounts received at work, including bonuses, tips or other compensation, will also be added to your calculated salary. These benefits are based on your gross income rather than your net pay after taxes. It is important to note that untaxed income is not included in these calculations. For example, if you receive unreported tips or other money under the table, it cannot be claimed for consideration in calculating your benefits.
Your quarter with the highest income is then divided to determine the average compensation that you took home each week before your injury. In general, you will receive two-thirds of that amount on a weekly basis to cover your lost wages through the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation program. The formula seems straightforward, but a number of issues may make the calculations more complicated. A workers’ comp lawyer can provide detailed advice on how the formula might work for you.
Beyond the Formula: Calculating Pennsylvania Lost Wages
There are a few factors that could affect the number of benefits that you receive after a workplace injury. If you did not work for your employer, or any employer, for a full year before being injured, this can affect the calculation. Wages from all employers are included in the calculation, even prior employers you worked for before the accident.
In addition, many people work in professions where their salaries are highly driven by commissions and performance-based bonuses. If you cannot work, you cannot make sales or hit performance metrics, leaving you with a much lower calculated income as a regular salary. There are some rules that the state uses to ensure that sales workers are not excessively penalized.
Adjustments to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Formula
If you do not have a full 52 weeks of work behind you, the calculation of your average wage each week is completed by taking your average gross income for the 13 weeks right before you suffered the on-the-job injury. You can still be protected if you have not worked for 13 weeks, but there are further conditions.
In this case, your average wage per week is calculated by multiplying your standard hourly wage by your expected hours of work per week. Some employers attempt to drive down their costs for workers’ compensation by claiming that you were required to work far fewer hours than you actually did.
Employers are not allowed to lie about your hours of work under the Workers’ Compensation Act. If they misrepresent your wages in order to reduce their costs, your employer may be held accountable for up to three years to pay back extra money owed, plus an additional 10 percent interest.
Maximum Benefits Under Pennsylvania Law
You may not receive workers’ comp benefits for the full amount of your salary depending on how much you make each week. According to the Department of Labor and Industry, the maximum weekly compensation for injuries in 2019 is $1,049 a week. If you make between $786.76 and $1,573.50 each week, your payments will be calculated at exactly two-thirds of your average weekly income. On the other hand, if you make between $582.78 and $786.75, you will receive $524.50 in weekly compensation. If you make $582.77 or less each week, you will receive 90 percent of your wages in weekly workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact a Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Lawyer
If you have been injured at work, make sure to protect your rights by contacting an experienced workers’ comp attorney. Protect yourself, and prepare for the future by speaking to the skilled workers’ comp lawyers at the Voorhees Law Office in Somerville, New Jersey, as soon as you can after your accident. Call our office at (908) 200-2297, or use our secure online form to set up your initial consultation.