How are my workers’ compensation weekly benefits calculated?

If you’ve been injured on the job, knowing how much you can expect in workers’ compensation benefits can help alleviate some of your financial stress.

Temporary Total Disability Benefits

If you are disabled from working following your accident, Georgia law provides that you are to be paid two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to a statutory maximum in TTD benefits.  If your accident occurred on or after July 1, 2016, that maximum is $575 per week.  For accidents prior to that date, please see this chart for the maximum TTD benefit rate that you can receive.

For example:

  • Mark earns $15 per hour. Working 40 hours per week, his earnings before the accident were $600 per week. His workers’ compensation benefit would be $400.
  • Jane earns $20 per hour or $800 per week. Her workers’ compensation benefits would be $533.33 per week.
  • Bill earns $25 per hour or $1,000 per 40-hour work week. Two-thirds of his average weekly wage would be $667, but he would be limited to the maximum payout of $575 per week.

Injured workers can collect temporary total disability benefits for up to 400 weeks. However, a worker with a claim that qualifies as a catastrophic injury may be eligible to receive lifetime benefits. Examples of catastrophic injuries include paralysis, severe brain injury, amputation, and blindness.

Temporary Partial Disability Benefits

If you are placed under restrictions by your treating physician, and you return to work in a light duty capacity, earning less money than you were prior to your injury, you may be entitled to payment of temporary partial disability benefits. The amount that you would be paid in TPD benefits is two-thirds of the difference between your average weekly wage and the amount you are earning working light duty. For accidents occurring on or after July 1, 2016, the maximum you can receive in TPD benefits is $383 per week.  Please see this chart for the maximum rate for accident dates prior to July 1, 2016.

For example:

  • Susan was making $600 a week at the time of her injury. She is now earning $400 per week. Her benefit amount is two-thirds of the $200 difference in salary, or $133.33.
  • John was making $800 per week at the time of his injury, but now earns only $500 per week. His weekly benefit amount is two-thirds of the $300 difference in salary, or $200.
  • Logan was earning $1,000 per week at the time of his injury, but now earns only $400 per week. Two-thirds of the difference in earnings in $400, so he’d receive the maximum possible benefit of $383 per week.

Temporary partial disability benefits can be collected for up to 350 weeks.

Calculating Your Average Weekly Wage

Your average weekly wage is determined by taking your average weekly gross pay over the 13 weeks preceding your accident. This will include your salary or hourly wage as well as any tips, allowances, and applicable bonuses.

If you’re hurt on the job before you’ve been employed for 13 weeks, your benefits will be calculated using the average weekly earnings for an employee in a similar position.  If there is no similar employee, then your "full-time" weekly wage is used as the average weekly wage.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Social Security Payments

If you qualify, you can receive workers’ compensation benefits and Social Security payments at the same time. However, the income from your workers’ compensation benefits may cause your Social Security payments to be reduced.

Protecting Your Benefits

If you are experiencing difficulty obtaining workers’ compensation benefits, seeking legal assistance can ensure you receive everything you are entitled to including the maximum possible settlement on your claim. Call Rechtman & Spevak for a free, no-obligation case review.