When you get injured at work and are unable to work for a period of time, you are entitled to collect temporary total disability benefits while on leave. Calculating the amount of TTD pay you are entitled to is easy if you always work the same hours or are on salary, but what about if you work part time, or you frequently get paid overtime? Here’s a closer look at how Minnesota pays temporary total disability benefits for part time workers and individuals who get frequent overtime.
Overtime and Workers’ Compensation in Minnesota
We’ve explained temporary total disability benefits on the blog before, but in summation they allow for an injured worker to receive two-thirds of their gross weekly pay at the time of the injury. However, calculating that number is a little more difficult if you occasionally or frequently work overtime. Here’s what Minnesota workers’ compensation law says about calculating payments for individuals who work overtime.
- If an employee works frequent or regular overtime throughout the year, the overtime earnings must be calculated into the gross weekly wages. For example. If Bob makes $350 a week in normal pay but regularly picks up four extra hours and an additional $50, his gross weekly pay is $400.
- The minimum weekly payment is $130 or the employee’s actual weekly wage, whichever is less, while the maximum weekly pay is 102 percent of the statewide average weekly wage.
The key here is the ambiguous language in the state code about what classifies as “frequent or regular.” If you worked overtime during your last pay period but hadn’t picked up any extra shifts in the two months prior, you probably won’t be able to include it in your gross weekly earnings. However, if you consistently pick up one extra shift a month, a workers’ compensation attorney can build a case suggesting that once a month falls under the category of regular overtime, and may be able to have your gross weekly income calculated in a different manner, like gross monthly pay divided by the number of days in the month (giving you your gross daily earnings), then multiplied by seven to give you a weekly wage. There are other ways to calculate this exact amount, but the point is that it should incorporate your gross salary when accounting for overtime.
Part Time Workers and Workers’ Compensation
On the flip side, what if you’re a part time worker whose hours vary throughout the week, month and year? How are your potential TTD benefits calculated in this case? Here’s how Minnesota typically does it:
- Take the employee’s total gross earnings (including vacation and holiday pay) over the past 26 weeks. Divide that number by the number of days the employee worked.
- Divide the total number of days actually worked by the number of weeks the employee actually worked during the past 26 weeks.
- Multiple the average daily wage by the average number of days worked.
It may sound complicated, but it’s simpler with numbers. For example, let’s say Bob made $5,000 from his part time job in the last 26 weeks, and he always worked 2 days a week. That means Bob worked 52 days, which means Bob earned roughly $96 a day. We then take the number of days Bob worked (52) and divide that by the number of weeks he worked in the last 26 weeks. Bob worked every week, meaning we take 52 and divide it by 26, which gives us 2. We then take the daily rate ($96) and multiple it by days worked per week (2), which gives us a gross weekly pay of $192.
Multiple Part Time Jobs
Lastly, it’s also worth noting that if you work more than one part time job, and your work injury means you can’t work either job, you can calculate the gross weekly earnings from that other job into your total gross weekly earnings. If Tina earns $250 a week from one part time job and $100 a week from her second part time job, and her injury forces her to miss both jobs, her gross weekly earnings would be set at $350. You cannot factor in gross weekly income from other jobs if the injury does not force you to miss time with those jobs.
As you can see, there are a number of wrinkles to maximizing your TTD benefits after a work injury in Minnesota if you are a part time or overtime worker. Let Dean Margolis maximize your benefits by contacting his office today.
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