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DETERMINING MINNESOTA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION WAGE LOSS BENEFITS CAN BE TRICKY.

An injured employee’s wage on the date of injury determines the amount of the employee’s Minnesota workers’ compensation wage loss benefits.  A fair estimation of the injured employee’s future earning power, taking into account a reduced earning capacity because of injury, is the main objective of determining an injured employee’s average weekly wage.

THE INJURED EMPLOYEE’S DAILY WAGE MUST FIRST BE DETERMINED IN ORDER TO DETERMINE THE AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE UNDER MINNESOTA WORKER’S COMPENSATION.

Calculation of the daily wage for Minnesota workers’ compensation wage loss benefits becomes more relevant when an injured employee’s earnings are irregular, difficult to determine, or the injured employee was part time.  In those cases of irregular employment, the daily wage is calculated by dividing the total earnings in the preceding 26 weeks by the days in which the injured employee actually performed any of the duties of her employment.

Average weekly wage for Minnesota workers’ compensation wage loss benefits, in regular employment situations, is arrived at by multiplying the daily wage by the number of days (and fractional days) normally worked in the business of the employer.  If there is a contract specifying the amount of compensation, his compensation rate will be based on that contract.  For the “regular employment” situations, fluctuations for legal holidays, vacation days, and sick leave are not used to determine the wage based on the formula for “irregular employment”.  Sometimes you can arrive at the injured worker’s average weekly wage simply by adding up the gross amount that has been received weekly by an injured employee and dividing that number by the number of weeks.  Our Minnesota work comp lawyers will use whichever method is necessary to determine the average weekly wage.

ONCE THE AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE IS DETERMINED, IT CAN THEN BE DETERMINED WHAT THE MINNESOTA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION WAGE LOSS BENEFIT COMPENSATION RATE IS.

If an injured employee is off work completely due to a work injury, the wage loss benefit compensation rate is determined by taking 2/3 of the average weekly wage.  There is a maximum and a minimum on the amount an injured employee can receive in benefits and that limit is determined by the Minnesota workers’ compensation law in effect on the date of the injury.  This has changed over the years, most recently in October 2013.

THE STARTING POINT IN DETERMINING MINNESOTA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION WAGE LOSS BENEFITS IS THE AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE.

Then looking at the law in effect on the date of the injury, it can be determined what the appropriate wage loss benefit amount is.  There are several different types of benefits available.

As you can see, determining workers’ compensation wage loss benefits is tricky.  Our experienced Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyerswill make sure the correct amount is determined.  If you have a question about the amount of Minnesota workers’ compensation  wage loss benefits you are currently receiving, or believe you are entitled to benefits you are not receiving, contact our Minneapolis/St. Paul work comp attorneys for a free case review.

Author Photo

Joshua R. Stokka

Josh has been representing injured workers for over 10 years. After his first job during law school working for a workers’ compensation attorney, he decided that workers’ compensation is what he eventually wanted to do after law school. Prior to practicing in the area of workers’ compensation, Josh clerked for a judge in the 7th Judicial District in Minnesota. This valuable experience gave him insight into how judges think, do their jobs behind the scene, and how to frame a case in order to obtain a favorable result.  Now, he focuses 100% of his practice to defending injured workers’ in Minnesota.

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