If you are injured on the job and file a workers’ compensation claim, you may hear a lot of talk about your “work comp rate.” But what exactly is your “work comp rate?” In Missouri, workers’ compensation laws dictate a formula to determine your benefits.
While having a benefit determined by formula may seem easy, a lot of time and effort is spent influencing the numbers that are placed into the formula. The workers’ compensation rates in Columbia are determined by the injured worker’s Average Weekly Wage. Get in touch with a knowledgeable attorney to learn more about how you can calculate your rates.
Section 287.250, RSMo tells us that an injured worker’s Average Weekly Wage (AWW) is determined by calculating the average of the worker’s wages for the 13-weeks prior to the date of the work injury. If the worker had not been working a full 13-weeks, then the AWW is based on the amount of weeks that they had worked prior to the work injury. The AWW is then used to determine the “work comp rate” for the different types of benefits available to an injured worker in Columbia in their work comp claim.
Generally, an injured worker’s comp rate is two-thirds the AWW up to a maximum amount determined by the State Average Weekly Wage. The Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation publishes annually a Disability Schedule and Benefits Limits which details the maximum benefits for each type of benefit available to an injured worker in Columbia. According to that schedule, if you are injured between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 in Columbia, the following maximum workers’ compensation rates apply in your case:
For example, if someone working in Columbia severely injured their back while working and their doctor has indicated that they cannot work for three or more days, then they may be eligible for Temporary Total Disability, which is a weekly benefit allowed while treating and unable to work. To determine the amount of that weekly benefit, we would start with the worker’s AWW.
Assume that after examining the last 13-weeks of wages it is determined that the injured worker’s AWW is $1,250.00. If true, their work comp rate for Temporary Total Disability benefits would be $837.50, or two-thirds of the worker’s AWW.
Once that same person has reached Maximum Medical Improvement, they may have a Permanent Partial Disability claim. This is not a weekly benefit and it is determined by putting the Permanent Partial Disability “work comp rate” into a formula prescribed by law. In this case, because $837.50 (two-thirds of $1,250.00) exceeds the maximum Permanent Partial Disability rate allowed by law, the appropriate workers’ compensation rate for the injured worker would be $530.05.
Determining your appropriate workers’ compensation rate in Columbia can be difficult, especially if you find yourself having a tough time proving the last 13-weeks of your wages. Moreover, you may be in an hourly position either not getting a lot of hours at work or had to take some time away from work due to illness or to take care of a loved one.
A dedicated lawyer can help you use the law to your benefit. If you have questions or need assistance determining the appropriate work comp rate for your case, feel free to give our office a call. We offer free consultations and take work comp cases on a contingency basis, which means that we do not get paid until you get paid.