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How Much Will I Get Paid on Workers’ Compensation?

You were injured at your place of employment and now, because of the injury, you can’t perform the same work you were doing previously. How much will the workers’ compensation carrier have to pay you? The answer is it depends on your current work status and what you were earning at the time you were injured.

What Benefits are Available?

All benefits available to an injured worker come from the Workers’ Compensation Statute (New Hampshire RSA 281-A) and the Department of Labor Lab Rules. They also provide a number of equations to calculate the amount you will be paid. The first step generally is to determine the injured workers average weekly wage (RSA 281-A:15), when is then used to determine the amount owed by the insurance company.

Depending on your work status, there are a number of different types of weekly indemnity benefits you can receive, some of which are outlined in the table below. The most common is Temporary Total Disability (“TTD”), which applies when an injured worker doesn’t have the physical capacity to work at all or the employer doesn’t have a position to accommodate any ongoing work restrictions.

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How Does It Work?

Average weekly wage is generally calculated by reviewing an injured worker’s gross weekly earnings for up to a year prior to the date of injury. This average should be calculated at a rate that is most favorable to the injured worker. Additionally, if you are working two jobs, the gross earnings from both should be considering in calculating your average weekly wage.

If you are unable to work (TTD), your weekly out of work check would be sixty percent (60%) of the calculated average weekly wage. If you’re able to work, but not at the same number of hours or same amount of money as before due to restrictions (Temporary Partial Disability – “TPD”), your weekly check would be sixty percent (60%) of the difference between your average weekly wage and weekly gross earnings from your employer.

For example, if your average weekly wage is $1,000.00, you would receive $600.00 per week from the insurance carrier if you are not working (TTD). If, instead, you are able to work but only receiving $500.00 in gross earnings (less than your $1,000 AWW) from your employer due to ongoing work-restrictions (TPD), your weekly benefit check would be $300.00.

Are There Minimum and Maximum Amounts?

Yes. The worker’s compensation statute notes that these rates are to be adjusted each year around July 1 based on the state’s Average Weekly Wage for a full-time worker. As of July 1, 2023, the minimum compensation rate for a full-time employee is $415.25 and the maximum is $2,076.00. These minimum and maximum rates do not apply to part-time employees.

When Do My Payments End?

To modify or end benefits, the employer’s insurance carrier must prove that your conditions have changed in some way. A change could be your physical restrictions were lifted or you began earning more money through an accommodating job.

If this has happened, the carrier can request an order from the Department of Labor to end their requirement to pay benefits, either through an administrative order or a hearing. At the hearing, the carrier would have to show the Hearing Officer how your condition has changed and why your benefits should change. You (or your attorney) are also allowed to make arguments that your condition has not changed in a way that would allow them to end your benefits.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Your case might be handled perfectly, with no hiccups or concerns. But, it can be nice to have someone with experience checking in to make sure that’s actually the case. If you think that you aren’t being paid appropriately, bills are being denied, or something isn’t quite right, it always worth a call to see if we can help!  We’ll ask questions about your case, gauge if there’s likely a need for representation at that time and advise you on what next steps to look for.

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in NH and MA

Shawn J. Tennis

Shawn J. Tennis

Attorney
John L. Ward

John L. Ward

Attorney
Dana K. Smith

Dana K. Smith

Attorney

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Workers’ Compensation wage benefits in new Hampshire graphic.