The compensation rate is a term used in Florida Workers’ compensation to refer to the dollar amount of periodic benefits paid during periods in which the injured worker is on a “no work” status. These benefits can be either Temporary Total Disability (TTD), or Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits. They are calculated at 66 % of the Average Weekly Wage (AWW). Average weekly wage is calculated using a number of different methods. The most common method is to take an arithmetic average of the gross earnings during the 13 weeks prior to the accident. But in certain circumstances it is more equitable to look at the wage records of a similar employer or to look to an original contract of hire.
When considering employees that work on a seasonal basis or in industries that have significant changes to the employee’s income based on time of year, an average of 52 weekly prior to the accident might be more appropriate. Additional methods exist for calculation of AWW and may be more appropriate under certain circumstances. An attorney with experience in Workers’ Compensation law can determine if all calculations have been made properly, as well as that the most appropriate method of calculations were applied. If it is determined that there has been an underpayment of benefits, in addition to payment of the past owed amount, interest and in some matters even addition monetary penalties may be owed to the injured worker.