Wage Payments


If your injury prevents you from working, you may qualify for lost-wage compensation. In most cases, this is a percentage of your average weekly wage (AWW). If you are paid an hourly rate, your AWW is generally based on the wages you earned during the 4 full weeks prior to your accident. If you are paid on a salary-based system, your AWW is usually determined by dividing your annual salary by 52.

Lost-wage compensation is subject to a seven-day waiting period. This means that for the first seven calendar days of your claim, you will not be paid immediately. If you are out of work for more than six weeks, you will then be paid for the seven-day waiting period. Your first lost-wage compensation check should be issued within 14 days from the date that your employer is notified of your injury or from the last day you worked.

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 Louisiana’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 recover and return to work. In this instance, you will receive 66⅔ percent of your AWW until you return to work or reach maximum medical improvement from your work injury.

Supplement Earnings Benefits

In this case, you are still limited by your injury, but are able to work in some capacity. If you return to work, but your new job pays at least ten percent less than your previous one, you are entitled to supplemental earnings benefits. You will be paid 66⅔ percent of the difference between your average monthly wages before your injury and your earnings after your injury, on a monthly basis, up to your AWW. These benefits may continue up to 520 weeks or until you return to work at a job earning more than ninety percent of your AWW.

Permanent Partial Disability

Generally, permanent partial disability means that you are permanently disabled, but still able to return to work in some capacity. The benefits you receive are based on the severity of your injury. Louisiana 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.

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 while you are disabled.

Death Benefits

If a worker dies as a result of a work-related accident, dependents may receive workers’ comp benefits. Heirs are eligible for a one-time funeral expense payment of $7,500. A widowed spouse, with no dependent children, is usually entitled to 32.5 percent of the deceased worker’s AWW; which is paid until death or remarriage. If there is one dependent child, the benefit rises to 46.25 percent and if there are two or more children the benefit becomes 65 percent of the worker’s AWW. Other dependents may also be entitled to benefits, as listed in Louisiana 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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