Depending on what line of work you’re in, there’s a chance that some or all of your paycheck is based on commission. If a work injury prevents you from making sales calls or earning your commission, how does this factor into your workers’ compensation payments? We explain how workers’ compensation benefits are calculated for commission-based workers in this blog.
Working On Commission and Injury Benefits
Before we dive into the answer to this question, it may be helpful to understand how workers’ compensation benefits are calculated for salaried or hourly workers. For salaried and hourly workers, the usual payment is two-thirds of their average weekly wage. Since this doesn’t usually vary much for these workers, this is often pretty easy to calculate. If you always bring home $3,600 a month, you can expect your workers’ compensation benefits to be around $2,400 a month before other expenses are added to the equation.
Commission-based employees are actually held to the same standard, meaning they can expect to receive two-thirds of their average weekly income. This becomes more difficult to calculate when operating under commission, because total pay may vary greatly from paycheck to paycheck. Thankfully, Minnesota has a law that explains how to calculate a fair payment.
Under Minnesota law, a workers’ compensation payment can be determined by taking the total wages they earned over the last 26 weeks and dividing it by the number of paychecks you received. So if you get paid every two weeks, you divide your total pay during the last 26 weeks by 13, and that will give you an average paycheck amount. Two-thirds of that amount is what you can expect to receive from the insurance company before additional expenses are accounted for.
Knowing this equation is very important, especially if you work on commission, because the insurance company will do everything in their power to limit your compensation award. If the insurance company can make a reasonable argument as to why your benefits should be lower than your calculations, they are going to take it. That doesn’t mean you need to accept it, and if you can lay out a well-evidenced argument for why your payment should be higher, you can challenge the payment amount in court.
Knowing how to calculate your expected workers’ compensation payment is important, but so too is finding a lawyer who will be able to argue your case before a judge. They’ll know the best ways to challenge the underpayment, and they may even be able to get you more compensation than you expected in the first place. We’ve done this plenty of times for clients in the past, and we can do the same for you.
So if you are concerned about being underpaid, or you want assistance determining what you expect to receive from the insurance company after a work accident, reach out to Dean Margolis and the lawyers at Margolis Law Firm today.