Workers' Compensation Weekly Maximum Disability Rate Increase for 2017
Happy New Year! Here at Schwartz & Associates, we hope that 2016 was a great year, and we wish you the best in 2017. A new year often represents new beginnings. For some that may mean the beginning of a new diet; perhaps a change in behavior; or perhaps even a new job. Speaking of jobs, recall that throughout 2016 we covered various topics related to workers' compensation claims in Mississippi. As we enter 2017, let's discuss a change for such claims that goes into effect on January 1, 2017.
We previously discussed the indemnity benefits associated with a workers' compensation claim, including how to use an injured worker's average weekly wage to calculate his or her weekly compensation rate. The weekly compensation rate is generally the rate at which an injured worker is paid while removed from work due to a work injury. The compensation rate is calculated by taking 66 2/3% of the injured worker's average weekly wage, subject to the weekly maximum for the year of injury. For example, if you were injured in 2016 and had an average weekly wage of $400.00, your weekly compensation rate would be 66 2/3% of that amount, or $266.67. However, if you had an average weekly wage of $1,000.00, you would be limited to the maximum weekly compensation rate for 2016, or $468.63.
In 2017, the weekly maximum compensation rate increases to $477.82. That is roughly a 2% increase over 2016. Woohoo, break out the champagne! Jokes aside, that is more of an increase compared to 2016 over 2015, which resulted in roughly a 1% increase. Remember, though, the 2017 rate only applies to injuries that occur in 2017; it does not apply retroactively to injuries that occurred in prior years.
In any event, we hope you have enjoyed our blogs over the past year and that you continue to do so in 2017. Cheers to a new year!