Wage Payments


If your injury prevents you from working, you may qualify for lost-wage compensation. The amount of money you receive is based on the severity of your injury. In most cases, it is a percentage of your average weekly wage (AWW), which is based on the wages you earned during the 52 full weeks prior to your accident. If you have worked less than 52 full weeks, then your average weekly wage will be calculated based on the weeks you have worked.

Lost-wage compensation is subject to a three-day waiting period. This means that for the first three days of your claim, you will not be paid immediately. If you are out of work for more than 21 days or if you are entitled to permanent partial disability benefits, then you will then be paid for the three-day waiting period. Your first wage-compensation check should be issued within 21 days of your injury.

Keep in mind that there is a maximum weekly benefit mandated by the state. This number depends on your date of accident and changes periodically, so check with your adjustor. Below are the most common types of wage benefits and the methods used to calculate them. If your claim is classified in one of the categories below, your benefits will be paid as described. Because Alabama’s workers’ comp law provides for many different scenarios, this is not an all-inclusive list. Depending on your situation, your claim may provide you with different benefits.

Temporary Total Disability

This means you are completely disabled, but are expected to fully recover and return to work. In this instance, you will receive 66⅔ percent of your AWW for as long as you are unable to work due to your work injury, or until your disability is deemed permanent by your treating physician.

Temporary Partial Disability

In this case, your activities are still restricted by your work injury, but are you able to work in some capacity. If you return to work and your weekly earnings are reduced, then you are entitled to temporary partial disability benefits. You will be paid 66⅔ percent of the difference between your AWW before your injury and your AWW after your injury.

Permanent Partial Disability

Normally, permanent partial disability means that you have a permanent disability, but are still able to return to work in some capacity. The benefits you receive are based on the severity of your permanent disability. Alabama law lists dozens of different types of injuries and specifies the benefits due for each of these in terms of the number of weeks of compensation due. The most severe injuries may allow benefits for up to 400 weeks. The maximum compensation payable each week for permanent partial disability is the lesser of your AWW or the current state-allowed maximum.

Permanent Total Disability

This means that you are completely disabled as defined by state statute and are not able to return to work in any capacity. In this case, workers’ comp will normally pay you 66⅔ percent of your AWW for life.

Death Benefits

If a worker dies as a result of injuries sustained in a work-related accident, within three years of the accident, dependents may receive workers’ comp benefits. Families are eligible for a one-time funeral expense payment up to $3,000. A widowed spouse, with no dependent children, is usually entitled to 50 percent of the deceased worker’s AWW for up to 500 weeks. If there are also dependent children, the benefit rises to 66 ⅔ percent of the worker’s AWW. Other dependents may also be entitled to benefits, as listed in Alabama statute. Summit claims adjustors specially trained in these types of claims will work with the employer to determine what benefits are due.

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