How Is Average Weekly Wage Determined in North Carolina and Virginia?

Posted on Thursday, March 1st, 2018 at 4:01 pm    

The amount of wage benefits injured workers receive is based on the following calculation/formula:

2/3rds (.66667) of your average weekly wage (AWW) times the number of weeks you’re entitled to benefits.

The AWW is determined in one of the four following ways:

  1. If you worked at your job for over a year, then your AWW is – how much you earned for 52 weeks before your workplace injury – divided by the number of weeks you worked. If you didn’t work for seven or more days in a row, then the number of weeks is reduced.
  2. If you worked for fewer than 52 weeks, then your AWW is – how much you earned while you worked divided by the number of weeks you worked.
  3. If you didn’t enough weeks to make a fair determination, then your AWW is the amount an employee doing the same type of job who was just starting would be expected to earn
  4. If none of the first three methods is fair, then your AWW is based on the best approximation to what you would be earning if the injury had not occurred.

Workers in North Carolina can only receive the state maximum. The maximum generally increases each year. The maximum North Carolina benefits, after the 2/3rds time AWW calculation, for the past 10 years are:

  • 2009 — $816.00
  • 2010 — $834.00
  • 2011 — $836.00
  • 2012 — $862.00
  • 2013 — $884.00
  • 2014 — $904.00
  • 2015 — $920.00
  • 2016 — $944.00
  • 2017 — $978.00
  • 2018 — $992.00

The state maximums for Virginia are:

  • 2009 — $895.00
  • 2010 — $885.00
  • 2011 — $905.00
  • 2012 — $935.00
  • 2013 — $955.00
  • 2014 — $967.00
  • 2015 — $975.00
  • 2016 — $996.00
  • 2017 — $1,043.00

In both North Carolina and Virginia, the maximum payout is for 500 weeks. Both states also have no  lifetime limit for reasonable and necessary medical bills. Both states also allow a mileage allowance for traveling to see your physician. Only Virginia has a COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment). North Carolina unfortunately does not.

Your AWW includes overtime pay, bonuses, and other relevant income. Generally, health insurance benefits are not included in your wage loss benefits. However, the employer’s insurance company should pay for your medical bills that are necessary because of your injuries.

You receive the 2/3rds (.66667) of the average weekly wages if you have a temporary disability for up to 500 weeks unless and until you can return to work. This is called temporary total disability. (TTD) Of course, this is assuming that you have an Award or Accepted Claim. If you do not, then you will have to prove your claim at a hearing.

You receive 2/3rds of the AWW for a preset number of weeks if you have a permanent disability to specific body part. This is called permanent partial impairment (PPI). But in no event can you get more than the maximum of 500 weeks, unless are declared permanently and totally disabled.

Some adjustments apply if you can return to work with work restrictions and are making less money than your AWW. Then, you are entitled to 2/3rds of the difference between your AWW and your current, “light duty” wage. This is called temporary partial disability. (TPD).  

Get all the work injury compensation you deserve. You have the right to be paid if you can’t work due to a workplace injury and you are an employee. Don’t let your employer short change you. Attorney Joe Miller Esq. fights for every dollar you deserve. When you’re not working, you need money to pay your bills and manage your life. To speak with a respected North Carolina and Virginia work injury lawyer, please call attorney Joe Miller at (888) 694-1671. You can also reach him through his contact form.