What is the "average weekly wage," and what does it have to do with my temporary total disability benefit?

"Total temporary disability" or "temporary partial disability" (also referred to as "time loss") is the wage replacement benefit that is available to an injured worker if the attending physician authorizes the worker to be off work as result of the on-the-job injury. The amount of that benefit calculated by first figure out the worker's average weekly wage.

There are many rules that govern how an employer or its insurance company determines your time loss benefits. However, the general rule provides that the insurance company obtains your wage records for the 52 weeks prior to the date you were injured. The insurance company then calculates the total wages earned, and divides that amount by the number of weeks (52). If you have not been working for the employer for a full 52 weeks, then the insurance company simply uses the number of weeks that you actually worked. There are other rules that apply to seasonal and temporary workers.

Once the insurance company figures your average weekly wage, then as a general, it will calculate your temporary total disability benefit at 66.6% of your average weekly wage.  Sometimes, the insurance company will not have accurate information when a calculates your temporary total disability benefits. If you feel you are being underpaid, you can request a hearing to have an Administrative Law Judge review the issue.

Even if the insurance company has not yet decided to accept or deny your claim in the first place, you are entitled to this benefit while the claim is being decided, but only if your physician has authorized you in writing to be off work.

If you have questions about whether you are receiving correct temporary total disability or temporary partial disability benefits, costs of 503-325-8600. We can review your case to determine whether not an appeals warranted. And, we only can charge a fee if we obtain additional benefits for you.

Joe Di Bartolomeo
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Joe Di Bartolomeo is a top rated personal injury lawyer helping Oregon and Washington families