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How Are Workers’ Compensation Payments Calculated in Pennsylvania?

Workers seeking Workers’ Compensation often want to know the basics of their case, such as whether they have a case and how much they will receive in benefits. While questions about the strength of your case often require us to look into the specific facts of your case, calculating the benefits you should receive can be a bit more straightforward since a lot of that information is found right in the Workers’ Compensation Act.

Under Pennsylvania law, workers are entitled to have their medical bills paid in full. In addition, they receive payments for their lost wages, typically totaling 2/3 of their lost earnings. This calculation is based on your average weekly wages, and there are certain caps placed on these payments as well as situations where your benefits actually go up to 90% of your normal wages.

If you were hurt at work, call our Certified Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Specialists at Cardamone Law for help today by reaching out to us at (267) 651-7945.

Calculating Medical Payments for Workers’ Comp in Pennsylvania

Generally, we cannot calculate how much the specific medical care in your case will cost without diving deep into the facts of your case. Every injury is different, and even the billing costs for certain procedures will vary based on the doctor or hospital network where you seek treatment. However, once we take your case and begin to understand what injuries you face and what expenses these result in, we can help you calculate these costs.

This is often an incredibly important part of your case if you are considering a lump-sum settlement. When you take a settlement, you cannot get further compensation for your medical bills. Because of this, it is very important that our Delaware County Workers’ Comp attorneys properly calculate your medical bills and ensure that there is enough money in your settlement to cover your care going forward.

Wage-Loss and Indemnity Benefits for Workers’ Comp in Pennsylvania

In addition to medical benefits, injured workers are usually entitled to weekly wage-loss checks to offset their lost wages. These benefits are also called “indemnity” benefits and are intended to cover you while you are disabled from a work injury.

At the end of the day, these benefits usually do not pay 100% of your lost wages, but this is still okay for two major reasons. For one, your medical bills are still covered in full, and they will often cost far more than the portion of your lost wages that goes unpaid. Second, you get these benefits without having to even prove that your employer was at fault for your injury; as long as the injury was work-related, you can get these benefits even in cases where a lawsuit would not be possible.

Calculating Average Weekly Wages in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Cases

The wage-loss benefits that you receive are paid as a percentage of the average weekly wages you got before you were injured. Calculating this value is somewhat complex, but the Workers’ Compensation Act lays out the rules in § 309.

Calculating Based on Fixed Wages

If you get paid weekly at a “fixed” value, that makes calculating your weekly wage really easy: you just use that set weekly wage.

If you get paid monthly, the Act says to multiply that weekly wage by 12 to get your yearly wage, then divide it by 52 to get the weekly value. If you get paid yearly, the Act says to divide your salary by 52.

Hourly Wages

If your wage is paid hourly, then your weekly wage is going to vary based on your hours worked. This is especially true if you just recently got a raise or if you just started your job.

A year is 52 weeks, which can be evenly split into 4 periods of 13 weeks. The Act breaks down your work into 13-week chunks to help calculate your average wages if you get paid hourly.

If you have a full year of work at this job, then the Act just looks at your 3 highest 13-week periods to calculate the average. If you worked less than a year, then the Act says to use however many 13-week periods of wages you have available.

If you have yet to work a full 13 weeks at your job, the Act says to estimate however many hours you were hired to work and calculate the expected wages for that period.

Seasonal Work

There are many workers who make more money in certain seasons – such as agricultural workers, ski resort workers, or summer camp counselors. The law has special rules to calculate your average weekly wage as 1/50th of your total wages for the year. There are other exceptions if this isn’t a fair reflection of your wages.

Multiple Jobs

If you work multiple jobs but this injury keeps you from doing any of them, then your wages from all employers should be put into the calculation.

Calculating Lost Wage Benefits in a Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Claim

Now that we’ve arrived at what your average weekly wage is, we can calculate your benefits based on this value. But first, we need to compare your wage to the statewide average.

Benefits are capped at the statewide average weekly wage, which is deemed to be $1,325 for 2024. Your benefits cannot go over this limit.

66 2/3% Rate

Otherwise, you usually receive 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage. $1,325 is 66 2/3% of an average weekly wage of $1,987.50, so any wages over that will not increase your benefits. For wages from $1,987.50 to $993.76, the 66 2/3% rate holds firm.

If you have “specific loss” benefits based on an amputation or lost function, then those benefits should be 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage set for a specific number of weeks based on the specific injury. Our lawyers can help you find the right section of the code for your specific injury.

Up to 90% Rate

If your wages are below $993.76 per week, you can actually receive more than 66 2/3%. If your average weekly wage is $993.75, then 66 2/3% would be $662.50 per week. This value is the rate paid for wages down to $736.11, at which point that value is actually a full 90% of your lost wages.

For wages below this $736.11 per week rate, you also get 90% of your average weekly wage.

Other Rates

Disabilities are usually categorized as “total” if your medical impairment is 35% or higher and “partial” if it is under 35%. Accordingly, people on partial disability usually receive a lower compensation rate. This is calculated by taking 66 2/3% of the difference between your average wage before your injury and now. This is usually set by a Workers’ Compensation Judge or by an agreement.

Your wage-loss rate can also be negotiated or paid as part of a lump-sum settlement, potentially at a different rate.

Call Our Certified Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Specialists Today

Contact Cardamone Law for help with your case by calling our Northeast Workers’ Compensation attorneys at (267) 651-7945 today.

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Cardamone Law Has Negotiated Some of the Largest Workers’ Comp Settlements in Pennsylvania

$6 Million
We Assisted Another Firm in Reaching Settlement
$2.2 Million
Spinal Injury
$897,000
Lower Back Injury
$650,000
Lower Back Injury
$550,000
Neck Injury
$425,000
Leg Injury
$375,000
Knee Injury
$325,000
Ankle Injury
$6 Million
We Assisted Another Firm in Reaching Settlement
$2.2 Million
Spinal Injury
$897,000
Lower Back Injury
$650,000
Lower Back Injury
$550,000
Neck Injury
$425,000
Leg Injury
$375,000
Knee Injury
$325,000
Ankle Injury

Client Testimonials

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart Mike and Shirley!!"

I called Shirley when I was scared and didn’t know what where my next dime was coming from after I was out with my work injury. Shirley was very kind and helpful guiding me every single step of the way. Mike was not your typical lawyer was not pushy but very responsive to all my gazillion questions. He helped me get my settlement quickly and settlement check in a very timely manner. Would recommend them to anyone! Mike helped calm all my fears and anxieties as I was trying to navigate one of the hardest and most stressful times in my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Mike and Shirley!!

- Jen Thompson
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"Tienes un equipo impresionante a pesar de ser una compañía pequeña, los resultados fueron excelentes!"

Yo le daría 10 estrellas en vez de 5 , Michael Cardamone es una persona genuina y un gran abogado, al principio de mi caso, yo estaba en la oscuridad y no sabia que pasos tendría que seguir porque Workers comp ,solo me cubría en esos momentos los beneficios medicos .Después, me eliminaron el puesto , no sabia como manejar mi situación (estaba con una cirugía y también sin trabajo,) grasias a Mike, el me dirigió por el camino correcto, me dieron una muy buena cantidad por mi caso. El fue muy comprensivo porque le hice muchas preguntas por email y siempre me las contesto a tiempo, brindando seguridad ,sabia que estaba en las manos correctas! Shirley y Francisco también fueron de gran ayuda con los recordatorios y servicios de traducción en Español. tienes un equipo impresionante a pesar de ser una compañía pequeña, los resultados fueron excelentes! se los recomiendo a todos. Muchas grasias Cardamone law!

- Marisol Rodriguez
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"Best Law Firm around!"

"Cardomone law is absolutely fantastic! They are very responsive and helpful and they will fight to get you what you deserve. Shirley is also very helpful whenever you have any questions! Best Law Firm around!"

- C. Edwards
Google Reviews
"Michael and Shirley are very dedicated...and getting the maximum amount favorable to my case"

"Cardamone Law Firm were very helpful to me since day one. Michael and Shirley are very dedicated to my case giving me updates, answering my questions, being honest with my case, and getting the maximum amount favorable to my case. Thank you so much for your service and dedication and helping me to achieve not only your case but to guide and refer me in other needs too! You guys are the best law firm friendly and dedicated. I will recommend to anyone."

- A. Ortiz
Google Reviews
"Michael won my workers comp case after my employer insurance denied my claim."

"Exceptional firm. Highly recommend this law firm. Michael won my Workers Comp case after my employer insurance denied my claim. Him and his staff were always at my reach for legal and emotional support. Am so happy I hire them. Thanks Michael and Ms. Shirley."

- Carlos P.
Google Reviews
"[They] did an excellent job in getting me financially compensated in a fairly short amount of time."

"I recently had a work related injury and was receiving Workers' Compensation (medical benefits only). Soon after I was fired, so I contacted Paul Silver at Cardamone Law Firm who did an excellent job in getting me financially compensated in a fairly short amount of time. Paul and his assistant Shirley always responded to any questions I had about the case in a very short amount of time. Thank you for helping me with this difficult case."

- Robin C.
Google Reviews
"Highly recommend."

"Cardamone Law was great with helping my husband with his Workers Comp issues. Mike and Shirley were the best with letting us know what was going on every step of the way. Highly recommend."

- Danielle P.
Google Reviews
"Mike Cardamone is amazing"

"Mike Cardamone is amazing. He is "hands down" one of the best lawyers I've ever had the privilege of knowing. He is very kind, understanding, knowledgeable in his field, always very thorough and helpful. He was extremely professional and someone who truly cares about his clients. I felt completely at ease with him. He was a pleasure to work with, explained everything in detail, as well as answered all my questions with knowledge and care. If you want someone you can trust, who communicates every step of the way, will fight for you and make sure you win your case, he is it! I will refer all my family and friends to him. Thank you so much Mike, for everything. I appreciate all your hard work and dedication in helping me."

- Allie M.
Google Reviews
Without a doubt YOU are the best!!!

"Without a doubt YOU are the best!!! Every person who is in the horrible position of being injured at work should have someone as kind, compassionate and knowledgeable as you on their side. You never once made me feel like I was one of a hundred other clients. I always knew you had my back! You answered calls and emails at all hours. You fought every fight for me so I only had to worry about getting well. Behind your nice, calm face there’s a pit bull ready to take on any employer or judge. I can never thank you enough."

- L. Edall
Google Reviews
"Best Workers' Comp Lawyer!"

"Michael is simply the best! He was there for me from day 1 till the end, and we won the case!! He is always available to help. I had a gazillion questions and he would answer them one by one. He's a great lawyer and I feel lucky to have found him online from reading other outstanding reviews about him. Believe me, they're true!"

- Faith B.
Google Reviews
"Great Attorney"

"Great attorney, handled case quickly and efficiently. I would recommend him and would use him again. He was always available to answer any questions we had. Thank you, Mr. Cardamone."

- H. Anderson
Google Reviews