New York Increases Maximum Weekly Workers’ Comp Benefit

Woman with blue arm cast talks on the phone while sitting at a laptop computer.

Rising wages lead to rising benefits for injured workers

Last month, the New York Workers’ Compensation Board announced an increase in the maximum weekly benefit rate for workers’ compensation claims, effective July 1, 2024. The new weekly maximum will be $1,171.46.

This change will not affect current claims, but it will increase the maximum benefit for workers who are injured between July 1 of this year and June 30 of next year. This is a welcome increase for injured workers in light of the ever-increasing cost of living in New York and throughout the nation.

How the maximum weekly benefit is calculated

The New York workers’ compensation statute establishes a formula to calculate the maximum weekly benefit. The maximum is set as two-thirds of the state average weekly wage (SAWW) for the previous year, as determined by the New York State Department of Labor.

For 2023, the Department of Labor determined that the state average weekly wage was $1,757.19. Two-thirds of that number is $1,171.46.

How weekly benefits are calculated for injured workers

Workers’ compensation benefits for time lost due to a work injury (temporary total disability) are calculated based on the injured worker’s own average weekly wage (AWW). Usually, your AWW is based on your cumulative earnings for the previous 12 months, including bonuses, overtime, and other compensation for your job. However, there are various scenarios that can affect the AWW, including:

  • If you have only worked at the job for a short time, your employer should provide the wage information of a similarly situated worker (someone with the same or similar job title and salary who works at the same or an adjacent location).
  • If there is no similarly situated worker (for instance, if you are in a newly created position), then your employer should provide whatever salary information they can for the Workers’ Compensation Board to make a determination.
  • If you work for more than one employer (dual or concurrent employment), you may be allowed to add your wages together to calculate your AWW.
  • If you are under age 25, you may be entitled to wage expectancy consideration as your AWW is calculated.

The weekly benefit is two-thirds of your AWW, subject to the statewide maximum. What this means, in effect, is that if your AWW is less than the statewide average, you get two-thirds of your average weekly wage, and if your AWW is greater than or equal to the statewide average, you get the maximum benefit.

If your AWW is disputed, we will protect your rights

In short, while “two-thirds of your average weekly wage” might seem simple, the way workers’ compensation benefits are calculated can be surprisingly complex, and the weekly benefit is, of course, just one aspect of your claim. If your workers’ compensation claim is denied or disputed, our attorneys can put their extensive experience to work for you. Contact us online or give us a call today for a free consultation with Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP.

Prior results do not guarantee outcomes.
Attorney Advertising.