On December 13, 2019, the Pennsylvaniaannounced that based upon the Statewide Average Weekly Wage, as determined by the Department of Labor & Industry for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, the maximum compensation payable under the Workers’ Compensation Act shall be $1,081.00 per week for injuries occurring on and after January 1, 2020. For purposes of calculating the update to payments for medical treatment rendered on and after Jan. 1, 2020, the percentage increase in the Statewide Average Weekly Wage is 3.1 percent. The notice will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on December 14, 2019.
If an employee is injured at work, they are generally eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, including a weekly benefit to replace wages. Under Pennsylvania law, they are entitled to about two-thirds of their weekly wage, up to a maximum amount. The actual amount owed is based on the employee’s gross average weekly wage.
The average weekly wage is calculated based on the total of all gross wages from every employer the worker had at the time of the injury. This average weekly wage includes overtime, bonuses, tips that were reported to the IRS, vacation pay, and even payments for lodging. If the employee receives the same amount each week, their average weekly wage is their gross weekly paycheck. If they are an hourly worker, their average weekly wage will depend on how long they have worked for the employer where they were injured.
In addition, there are minimum and maximum benefits. The maximum amount an injured worker can receive depends on the Department of Labor and Industry’s calculation of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage, which for 2020, will be $1,081.00 per week.
Margolis Edelstein defends employers and their worker’s compensation carriers throughout Pennsylvania; please contact our offices to discuss any questions or further information you may need.