Workers’ Compensation Wage Rates – Average Weekly Wage

Last time I explained the first type of wage rate in workers’ compensation – the full weekly wage (FWW). But there is another calculation that is used more frequently – the average weekly wage (AWW).

The average weekly wage is an average of what was made weekly (pre-tax) in the year before the work injury.

How The AWW Is Calculated:

The AWW is calculated a few different ways. The easiest way is to take all the wages for a year before the accident and divide by 52 weeks.


Injury happens 10/1/16

Injured worker provides paystubs 10/1/15 – 9/30/16 totaling $52,000.

The AWW is $1,000 ($52,000/$1000)

The above way of calculation presumes though that you have access to exactly 52 weeks of wages before the work injury. This is not always the case. For instance, if the only wage information available is a W2. If we have more than 52 weeks of wages, the AWW can be calculated by dividing the total wages provided by how many weeks accounted for those wages.


If someone did not work the entire year before the injury, there will be wages missing. In this circumstance we normally can get the AWW adjusted by deducting those weeks.


Injury happens 3/6/16

Injured worker was laid off from 3/1/15 – 1/2/16 (So only worked from 1/3/16 – 3/5/16 in the year before)

Total wages 1/3/16 – 3/5/16 are $900

(1/3/16 – 3/5/16 is 9 weeks)

AWW = $100

$900 divided by nine weeks

How AWW Is Used:

AWW is used to pay out many different workers’ compensation benefits. For instance, if you receive temporary total disability for more than 12 weeks, you get paid at 66.67% of the AWW. (The first 12 weeks of temporary total disability are paid under the FWW rate).

Permanent partial awards and wage loss are also paid based on your AWW.


There are many exceptions in getting the AWW set correctly in workers’ compensation. Since it impacts benefits in your workers’ compensation claim contact our firm to ensure that your AWW is set correctly and you are getting the benefits you are entitled to.

By Kristin Cool

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