Under the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act, you are entitled to three types of benefits. These are payments related to missed time from work, medical treatment expenses, and permanency. That sounds straightforward but how do you calculate the specific numbers? It all starts with the Average Weekly Wage (AWW). This number is the key to calculating all your benefits under the Act.
The Average Weekly Wage is at its simplest just what it sounds like, the average of what you earn per week. It is based on the fifty-two (52) weeks prior to your injury. The very simplest way to describe this is that from the date of your injury you count the 52 weeks prior to that date and add up all that you were paid during this time and divide by 52. That is your AWW. However, of course, nothing is ever that simple. First, some payments that you receive from your employer are not included in your AWW. These include overtime and bonuses. Even this exclusion is not simple as there are facts that may allow your overtime hours to be included in your AWW at the straight time rate or sometimes something that is called a bonus is actually payment for time worked and then would be included. As you can see, this calculation can be hard.
Once your AWW is calculated, the other benefits are relatively easy to figure out. When you are unable to work due to your injury and are still receiving treatment, you may be entitled to temporary total disability benefits. These are the weekly checks you may have received if you’ve had an injury before. This figure is calculated by taking your AWW and multiplying it by 66 2/3%. Therefore as you can see it is very important that your AWW be calculated correctly. There are many small issues that arise in this calculation but this is the basic formula for the calculation of your AWW. A skilled worker’s compensation lawyer can help you with these issues.