Average Monthly Wage Dispute
How Am I Paid While On Workers’ Compensation in Arizona?
If you have an accepted workers’ compensation claim in Arizona and you are on an off work or on light duty status per your physician, you may be entitled to compensation benefits provided by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company.
Temporary Compensation After Injury On the Job
If your doctor places you on an off work status or gives you work restrictions which your employer cannot accommodate for more than seven calendar days, you may be owed compensation.
The first seven days of lost wages are not paid unless you sustain a loss of earnings for 14 days or more.
While on an off work status, you are entitled to temporary compensation every 14 days. If you are on light duty, you are paid every 30 days after completing a monthly status report, which requires you to report any earnings.
Compensation is paid at 66 2/3% of your established average monthly wage. Your earnings in the 30 days preceding your accident will be the presumptive wage base and will become your average monthly wage unless those earnings fail to accurately measure your preinjury earning capacity. Justification for using an expanded wage base (greater than 30 days) may include, but is no limited to, any of the following:
- The 30 day calculation appears too high or low compared with other calculations;
- Intermittent employment;
- Earnings from other employers;
- Seasonal employment;
- Concurrent employment;
- Recent wage increase;
- Inflated wages received during the month before the injury.
Your average monthly wage is calculated by your adjuster. Your adjuster is required to send their recommended average monthly wage calculation to the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA). The ICA reviews the insurance company’s calculations and issues a Notice of Average Monthly Wage, which officially establishes the wage. If the wage recommended by the insurance company is not calculated correctly, the ICA can disapprove that wage and establish the correct wage. If you disagree with the Notice of Average Monthly Wage issued by the ICA, you have 90 days from the mailing date of the notice to file a request for hearing.
It is important to know that the law establishes a maximum wage figure which can be used to calculate the average monthly wage of an injured worker. Even though you may have earned more than the established average monthly wage maximum per month, the most you can receive is 66 2/3% of the maximum. Unfortunately, the wage is set as of the date of injury and does not allow for cost of living increases.
It is imperative to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney review your average monthly wage calculation and determine if it is accurate. An inaccurate average monthly wage can result in you being undercompensated for your lost income. At Fendon Injury Law, our attorneys are very skilled in dealing with average monthly wage disputes.
How Fendon Injury Law Can Help
At Fendon Injury Law in Phoenix, Arizona, we have over 40 years of combined experience in Arizona Workers' Compensation Law. We offer a free case evaluation so that we can assess your case and provide you with the best advice possible regarding your average monthly wage. Contact us today to schedule your free evaluation!