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When Will My Benefits Begin And How Much Will They Be?

No compensation benefits are paid for the first three days of disability unless you are disabled more than 28 calendar days. If your injury keeps you from working for more than three calendar days, fill out the green copy of the injury report that you received from your employer. Answer all questions about dependents and send the completed form, with wage proofs attached, to the insurer. The insurer uses this information to figure your weekly disability compensation rate.

Your weekly compensation rate is based on your gross weekly earnings and is 80% of your spendable weekly wage, subject to certain limits. You cannot get more than $700 a week for compensation benefits. Your weekly disability benefit rate is 80% of your spendable weekly wage or $700, whichever is lower. If you give the insurer proof of your earnings, the insurer must pay you $154 per week or your spendable weekly wage. If you do not give the insurer proof of your earnings, it must pay you at least $110 per week, but there are exceptions when the insurer may pay less than the minimum rate.

Your spendable weekly wage is figured by subtracting federal income and social security taxes from your gross weekly earnings. Your federal income tax for this purpose is based on the number of dependents you may legally claim at the time of injury under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Code. Your marital and dependency status is set at the time of injury; it stays the same for your workers` compensation disability benefits even if you get married, divorce, or have children while you are disabled. Even if your social security tax is fully paid when you are injured, the social security tax is still subtracted from your gross weekly earnings when figuring your spendable weekly wage.

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This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified workers' compensation lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local workers' compensation attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.

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