Average Weekly Wage (AWW)

Average Weekly Wage (AWW) is the average amount of money earned per week by an employee. The AWW is a crucial factor used to determine the amount of Florida workers’ compensation benefits an injured worker is entitled to receive. It serves as the baseline for calculating compensation for lost wages due to a work-related injury or illness.

Defining Average Weekly Wage (AWW)

The average weekly wage is an employee’s average gross earnings over a specified period, typically the 13 weeks before the week of the accident. If the employee has not worked for the employer for the entirety of the 13 weeks, the calculation may be adjusted to reflect what the employee would have earned on average had they worked the full 13 weeks. This is often done by extrapolating the earnings over a shorter period to estimate a 13-week equivalent.

The definition of “wages” encompasses more than just the employee’s base salary. It includes all forms of compensation received by the employee, such as overtime pay, bonuses, tips, and certain other benefits provided by the employer.

Calculating Average Weekly Wage

To calculate the average weekly wage in Florida workers’ compensation cases, the following steps are typically followed.

Determine the Relevant Earnings Period

As mentioned earlier, the standard period for calculating the average weekly wage is the 13 weeks immediately preceding the date of the injury. However, adjustments may be made if the employee has not worked for the entire 13-week period.

Average Weekly Wage

Identify the Gross Earnings

All forms of compensation received by the employee during the chosen period are considered, including regular wages, overtime pay, bonuses, commissions, and any other income earned through employment.

Total the Earnings

Add up all the gross earnings received by the employee over the selected period. This sum represents the total earnings over the specified duration.

Calculate the Average Weekly Wage

Once the total earnings are determined, divide this amount by the number of weeks in the selected period. For instance, if the chosen period is 13 weeks, divide the total earnings by 13 to arrive at the average weekly wage.

Role in Florida Workers’ Compensation

The calculated average weekly wage serves as the basis for determining the amount of compensation the injured worker is entitled to receive under Florida’s workers’ compensation laws. Benefits such as temporary total disability benefits, permanent total disability benefits, and death benefits are often calculated as a percentage of the average weekly wage.

AWW and Maximum Compensation Rate

It’s worth noting that the average weekly wage calculation is subject to certain limitations and regulations outlined in Florida’s workers’ compensation law.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity determines the statewide average weekly wage. Florida Statutes Title XXXI. Labor § 440.12 limits the maximum weekly compensation rate for work-related injuries and illnesses to 100 percent of the Statewide average weekly wage, rounded to the nearest dollar.

Disputes may arise regarding the accuracy or fairness of the calculated average weekly wage, which may necessitate legal intervention. Our experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorneys at Work Injury Rights are here to help you at every stage of your claim.