Average Weekly Wage Compensation Rate (AWW/CR)
Workers’ compensation benefits are based on an employees’ average weekly wage and compensation rate (AWW/CR). A worker’s AWW is based on an average of his or her reported wages earned in the 13 weeks prior to his or her injury.
In some cases, the way that an AWW is calculated can be favorable to the employee, but in other cases there may be a multitude of factors that lead to a lower AWW and, thus, less benefits. When a person is applying for workers’ compensation benefits, it is critical to make sure that the AWW accounts for all considerations so an injured worker can receive the maximum benefits he or she is entitled to.
Lawyer for Average Weekly Wages in Miami, FL Workers Compensation Cases
Did you or your loved one sustain a serious injury on the job in South Florida? Before you apply for workers’ compensation, you will want to contact The Hoffman Firm for help ensuring that your AWW accounts for all of the intangibles that employers or workers’ compensation insurance carriers might refuse to honor.
Evan A. Hoffman is a skilled workers’ compensation attorney in Miami who represents clients all over Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County. You can have him review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call (305) 940-2307 to take advantage of a completely free, no obligation consultation.
Florida Average Weekly Wage Compensation Information Center
- How is a worker’s AWW determined?
- What happens when a worker has a second job?
- Where can I learn more about AWW issues in South Florida?
Under Florida Statute § 440.14(1)(a), a worker’s AWW is one-thirteenth of the total amount of wages earned in such employment during the 13 weeks. If the injured employee did not work for the same employer during the entirety of the 13 weeks immediately preceding the accident, Florida Statute § 440.14(1)(b) states that “the wages of a similar employee in the same employment who has worked substantially the whole of such 13 weeks shall be used in making the determination under the preceding paragraph.”
Florida Statute § 440.12(2) establishes that workers’ compensation for disabilities resulting from workplace injuries cannot exceed 100 percent of the statewide AWW, which is revised and updated every year. In 2016, the maximum compensation rate is $863 a week, which means that even workers with AWWs of more than that amount would not be able to receive more than $863.
While AWW is intended to determine an honest and accurate depiction of an employee’s wages, there are circumstances in which a basic calculation can produce a misleading and inaccurate figure. For example, many workers in Florida often have second jobs that can be impacted by injuries sustained on their other jobs.
When an employee has a second job, it is referred to as concurrent employment. Workers are responsible for providing information concerning the loss of earnings from the concurrent employment when filing for workers’ compensation, but it is always wise to have an attorney determine how to best handle claims relating to second jobs.
Another very sensitive area of AWW calculations in Florida is the impact of industries that are seasonal in nature. When an employee works in a job that is seasonal in nature, an AWW based on the past 13 weeks may not accurately reflect the wages he or she would have earned after being injured.
Under Florida Statute § 440.14(1)(c), an employee who is a seasonal worker can use the calendar year or the 52 weeks immediately preceding the accident instead of the 13 weeks immediately preceding the accident to determine his or her AWW. The worker has the burden of proving that this method will be more reasonable and fairer than using the preceding 13 weeks.
AWW & Max Comp Rate | Florida Department of Financial Services — Under Florida Statute § 440.12(2), workers’ compensation benefits cannot exceed the statewide AWW, as determined by the Agency for Workforce Innovation based on the four quarters in the Florida fiscal year ending June 30. The division calculates the statewide rate every November and it takes effect on January 1 of the following year. On this website, you can view the current statewide AWW and previous AWW rates going back to 1937.
Division of Workers' Compensation
Bureau of Compliance
401 N.W. Second Avenue
Miami, Florida 33128
Reaves v. United Parcel Service, 792 So. 2d 688 — Henry Reaves suffered an injury while working at his part-time job as a loader for United Parcel Service (UPS), although he also had a full-time job as a driver for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). After a judge of compensation claims (JCC) excluded his concurrent earnings from the USPS in calculating his AWW, Reaves appealed the decision to Florida’s First District Court of Appeal. The court reversed and remanded that decision in August 2001, writing:
For purposes of concurrent earnings, this court has explained that the phrase "any service performed" in the definition of "employment" in section 440.02(15)(a) "is extremely broad" and is limited only by section 440.02(15)(c), which provides that employment does not include services performed by domestic servants in private homes, certain agricultural laborers, professional athletes, and laborers under court sentences. Bath, 560 So.2d at 1291. Therefore, because employment with the U.S. Postal Service could fall within the broad definition in section 440.02(15)(a) and is not specifically excluded by the statute, Reaves is entitled to have his wages earned therewith included in his AWW. This result comports with prior decisions in this area of the law, including Jaquette, Trainer, Vegas, Debose, and Bath.
The Hoffman Firm | Miami Average Weekly Wage Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you or your loved one suffered a catastrophic injury on the job in South Florida, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation for help obtaining all of the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to. The Hoffman Firm can ensure that an AWW of maximum value is used to determine your benefits.
Miami workers’ compensation attorney Evan A. Hoffman helps clients throughout South Florida, including West Palm Beach, Aventura, Boynton Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Homestead, Miami Beach, and many other surrounding areas. Call (305) 940-2307 or fill out an online contact form today to set up a free consultation that will allow our lawyer to provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case.
Evan A. Hoffman
Mr. Hoffman’s philosophy is "our knowledge and experience is your best defense." He has been a featured author on criminal law issues such as driving under the influence, domestic violence and illegal searches.Read More