Massachusetts statutes provide a specific, formulaic approach to calculating the amount of weekly benefit payments that an injured employee is entitled to receive. This calculation is based largely on the injured employee’s average weekly wage. A key component of any workers’ compensation claim is ensuring that you provide enough information for the claims adjuster to calculate your average weekly wage so that you receive the maximum amount of benefits to which you are entitled. As Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers, we have assisted many victims with protecting their rights and securing compensation. As a recent case demonstrates, having a knowledgeable attorney on your side can prevent delays in your claim.
The claimant was injured on the job when he fell from a ladder. The claimant was painting the side of a building in Springfield, Massachusetts when the accident occurred. He notified his employer, which filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits with its insurer. An administrative law judge reviewed the claim and concluded that the claimant was entitled to receive total incapacity benefits. The ALJ also noted, however, that there was insufficient information regarding his average weekly wage.
At a hearing on the issue, the claimant indicated that he had entered into an agreement to receive roughly $1,000 from the employer to paint the home. He also indicated that he fell from the ladder on the second day of working on the project. The employer fired the man on the day after his injury and paid him $500. He also testified that he earned roughly $8,000 in the prior year for his work painting homes and that he also performed a variety of other employment occupations. Based on this evidence, the ALJ concluded that the claimant was performing seasonal work at the time he fell from the ladder. Since calculating an average weekly wage involves dividing the claimant’s earnings by 52 weeks, the ALJ concluded that his average weekly wage was $150.