Workers’ compensation - examples
The following set of facts will be used for each of the examples below.
Bill works as an elevator repair technician in Chicago, Illinois. He makes $70,000.00 a year. One morning, while on the job, a 300-pound elevator part fell on Bill's left knee. He reported the incident to his employer, promptly received medical treatment and did not return to work for 3 months.
Average Weekly Wage (“AWW”)
We want to start by establishing Bill's AWW. AWW is the average wage of an employee during the 52 weeks prior to a workplace accident. Whether Bill is paid monthly or weekly, his AWW is measured on a weekly basis. In other words, we want to know what Bill's checks would have been, on average, for the preceding year, if he had been paid weekly.
note: we will not include overtime when determining AWW unless it was mandatory
Since we know Bill makes an annual salary of $70,000.00, we simply need to divide that number by 52.
$70,000.00 ÷ 52 = $1,346.15
Therefore, Bill's AWW is $1,346.15.
What if Bill made varying amounts each month?
We would simply add up the 12 months and divide by 52.
Temporary Partial Disability (“TPD”)
After Bill injured his knee, he sought medical treatment and could not perform his normal job duties for three months. If his employer had light duty work, like part-time data entry at a computer desk, he would be entitled to TPD.
Bill's new part-time job pays $500.00 a week. This is a significant departure from his average wage of $1,346.15 each week. To find TPD, we use the following two-step formula:
(AWW) - (New Weekly Wage) = Wage Difference
Wage Difference x 66 2/3 % = TPD
Bill's TPD Calculation
($1,346.15) - ($500.00) = $846.15
($846.15) x (2/3) = $564.10
So, in addition to Bill's weekly check of $500.00 for his temporary position, he will receive an additional $564.10 each week for the three months that it takes for him to fully recover.
TPD is subject to certain minimum and maximum amounts that vary depending on the year of the injury, marital status, and number of dependents. See the following link for a table of all minimum and maximums.
Temporary Total Disability (“TTD”)
If Bill is either unable to work entirely, or his employer has no light-duty work available, he is eligible for TTD.
Remember, Bill made $70,000.00 a year and we established his AWW as $1,346.15.
(AWW) x (66 2/3 %) = TTD
(subject to minimums and maximums)
Bill's TTD Calculation
($1,346.15) x (2/3) = $897.43
(per the IWCC Benefits Rate Tables, Bill is well under the maximum TPD rate, so he can receive the full $897.43)
For the three months that Bill is off of work and recovering, he will be entitled to a weekly check of $897.43.
TTD is subject to certain minimum and maximum amounts that vary depending on the year of the injury, marital status, and number of dependents. See the following link for a table of all minimum and maximums.
Permanent Partial Disability (“PPD”)
Let us assume that Bill's case is tried in front of an arbitrator who finds his left knee injury left him with a permanent loss of 25% use of his left knee.
Step 1: Convert the % of Injury to Weeks of Compensation
Per our What To Expect web-page, you know that each body part is assigned a value expressed as a number of weeks. In Bill's case, an injury that causes 1% loss of use is equal to 2.15 weeks of pay. To determine a loss of use greater than 1%, you would simply multiply the number of weeks by 2.15. The following table illustrates this:
Determine 1% Body Part Impairment Number
(1% Injury Number) x (% Impairment) = Weeks of Compensation
Bill's Weeks of Compensation
(1% Leg = 2.15)
(2.15) x (25) = 53.75 Weeks of Compensation
Bill is entitled to 53.75 weeks of compensation.
Step 2: Combine Bill's Weeks of Compensation with his PPD Rate for Total PPD Benefit
(Number of Weeks) x (PPD Rate) = Total PPD Benefit
Bill's Total PPD Benefit
(53.75) x ($794.66) = $42,712.98 Total PPD Benefit
Permanent Total Disability (“PTD”)
(AWW) x (66 2/3 %) = PTD Rate
PTD Rate for life (subject to minimums and maximums)
Bill's PTD Rate
($1,346.15) x (2/3) = $897.43
Per the IWCC Benefits Rate Tables, Bill is well under the maximum PTD rate, so he can receive the full $897.43 for life.