What Is The Worker’s Compensation Maximum Wage and Rate Chart?

workers compensation

Worker’s compensation coverage in Wisconsin really is quite broad. Under state law, virtually any injury you suffer at work is covered by worker’s compensation. Your employer is required to carry worker’s compensation insurance, and your employer’s worker’s comp insurance carrier is required to pay those claims promptly in the absence of a dispute over whether the injury is covered or the amount of medical reimbursement you are seeking.

While coverage generally is pretty straightforward, how much worker’s compensation pays you for an injury might seem like some kind of voodoo. Or, at least a calculation that apparently takes place inside a black box and a number just comes out, with no insight into the process. For the most part, that would be a false impression. In fact, for most payments under the worker’s compensation system, insurers are bound by a very precise means of determining payments.

The cost of medical treatment, particularly long-term or permanent treatment, can be disputed. Eventually, a claim may come before a worker’s compensation Judge. However, most payments, such as for time missed from work, temporary or permanent disability, partial or complete loss of range of motion in a limb or other body part, or even amputation of a limb, are predetermined under the worker’s compensation system. If you are injured at work, you should talk to a Wisconsin worker’s compensation lawyer to find out what you’re entitled to.

How Does Worker’s Comp Insurance Determine Coverage?

The key to most coverage payments is known as the Worker’s Compensation Maximum Wage and Rate Chart. This establishes the maximum benefits allowable under the worker’s compensation laws. It also provides accompanying regulations and guidance documents of all manner of detail on:

  • How to determine how much a particular injury should receive as compensation
  • How to determine what the extent of a disability caused by workplace injury is
  • How much an injured employee will receive under worker’s compensation guidelines

Very little is left to chance or speculation. The law is pretty precise about death or disability benefits, which are based on a percentage of the employee’s weekly wages.

Time missed from work because of a workplace injury is treated as temporary total disability, for instance, and you will receive payments according to the percentage of your wages set forth by law. This would be subject to maximums specified in the Maximum Wage and Rate Chart. If you still are judged to have a partial disability – even after you return to work, you still will receive worker’s compensation payments. The amount paid is based on the extent of the disability as a percentage of your wages.

For a partial disability determined to be at 10 percent , you would receive 10 percent of the maximum allowable weeks for the part of the body you injured.  The amount of the rate of payment is based on the date of your injury. The state has detailed instructions to provide guidance for physicians to determine the percentage of disability, largely based on the range of motion available after the injury.

While you are unable to return to work, you receive the full benefit payment to which you are entitled. If you are determined to be able to return to work under limitations and are not able to earn your normal wages, you would have a claim for temporary partial disability.

If your doctor determines your temporary disability at 25 percent, your employer can reduce your hours by 25 percent or reduce your hourly wage by 25 percent. In either event, you will receive worker’s compensation benefits equal to 25 percent of the total disability benefit you received while you were unable to return to work.

Wisconsin Has A Payment Schedule For Any Injury

At its most basic level, Wisconsin bases worker’s compensation benefits on four considerations. Those are:

  • The amount of your normal weekly wages
  • The extent of your disability, measured on the percentage loss of use of the body part, which can range from 1 to 100 percent
  • The body part that was injured
  • The date of your injury

The formula is the same for pretty much any injury resulting in disability, permanent or temporary, full or partial. The benefit amount is calculated in terms of the number of weeks of benefits to be paid, which is different for each injury.

For instance, losing your arm to an accidental amputation at the shoulder would get you an amount equal to 500 weeks of benefit payments. If you injured your shoulder, you would get an amount equal to a percentage of 500 weeks of benefits. If you suffered a permanent partial disability of 10 percent at your shoulder, you would receive benefits equaling 50 weeks of benefits payments.

For a permanent disability to a body part, you don’t get a lump sum. Instead, you are paid monthly until the full amount of the scheduled benefit has been paid.

Keep in mind, medical costs are a separate issue. There is a schedule for disability payments for injuries of all kinds. Not so for medical treatment expenses. While the cost of treatment for an injury covered under worker’s compensation generally is fully reimbursed, for some injuries and treatments, usually more severe injuries with extensive, often long-term treatment costs, the amount the insurance company will pay can become a point of contention. This may lead to a hearing before a worker’s compensation Judge.

The administrative law judge will hear evidence and decide the dispute. For disputed medical expenses or other costs, the Judge will determine how much the Worker’s Compensation Insurance Carrier has to pay.

If You Have Been Injured On The Job, Consult A Milwaukee Work Injury Attorney

If you have been injured at work, odds are your worker’s compensation claim will be handled smoothly and quickly by your employer’s insurance carriers. If that is not the case, the Milwaukee worker’s compensation lawyers of Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf are ready and eager to fight for our client’s rights, no matter where in the state of Wisconsin you live. We will work diligently to ensure you receive all of the financial compensation you deserve if you are injured at work.

If you have been hurt on the job, contact the Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf workplace injury attorneys at 414-257-2667. We will evaluate your case for free with no further obligation. Our attorneys work from our Milwaukee office, but we represent injured employees throughout Wisconsin.