Job Classification Work Injury
If you are injured at work, all your worker compensation benefits are based off your average weekly wage (AWW). The average weekly wage is calculated by adding up your gross weekly wages of the entire year before you were injured and divided by 52.This is the case if you live or work in McHenry or not.
Usually when you have a new job classification, it comes with an increased pay scale. Prior to the decision in ABF Freight Systems vs. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission you would have to add your lower wages with your increased wages to calculate your average weekly wage.
The Court in ABF Freight Systems held that if an injured worker has had a job classification change within the last year only the new wages after the job classification and hopefully increased pay, are to be used to calculate the average weekly wage. That being said, the injured workers average weekly wage could be increased resulting in a substantially increased workers compensations benefits, including but not limited to TTD Benefits and a PPD Award.
A quick example of how the new law works is as follows: if an employee was working as a laborer making $10.00 an hour for half a year and then was promoted to a new job classification and increased pay to $17.50 an hour such as a Project Coordinator, his average weekly wage would increase from $400.00 per week to $700.00 per week based on a similarly 40 hour work week. Before this new case, the injured workers AWW would be only $550.00.
If you are injured at work, make sure you tell your workers’ compensation Attorney if your wages were increased because you had a new job classification in the year before your work injury.
Unfortunately, just a pay raise doing the same job, (without a new job classification) will not result in using the new higher pay rate to calculate your average weekly wage.