Calculating Average Weekly Wage for Airline Workers

Chicago Lawyers for Injuries in the Transportation Industry

Average weekly wage is what’s used to calculate what you should be paid for temporary total disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, and permanent total disability benefits. Sometimes insurers do not calculate the average weekly wage correctly or in a way that’s fair to the worker. If you are concerned about calculating average weekly wage as an airline worker for purposes of a work injury claim in Chicago, a skillful Chicago workers’ compensation attorney can help you pursue benefits.

The purpose of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act is make an injured worker whole, and place him back in the position he would have been in had he not gotten injured. It was designed to make it easier for workers to obtain benefits; workers do not have to prove the fault of their employer or show they were not at fault in the way they would if they were in civil court suing for damages. Rather, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system of benefits. However, the trade-off is that benefits are less than they would be were a worker able to sue and prove fault. Although the system is designed to make it easier to get wage replacement, in practice, some insurers put profits ahead of the people who are insured.

Calculating Average Weekly Wage for Airline Workers

In Illinois, any periods in which you worked for the employer you were with when you were injured may be used to determine the average weekly wage you will receive under the workers’ compensation system. Your time spent “in employment” should be interpreted according to the plain language of the statute, and to the extent that the meaning is unclear, the purpose behind the language should be considered.

There are several ways to calculate average weekly wage for airline workers under Section 10 of the Workers’ Compensation Act, and a dedicated work injury lawyer can determine which method may be appropriate in your case. The most straightforward way of determining your average weekly wage for purposes of calculating your disability payments is by looking at your actual earnings over the last 52 weeks of working at your job or jobs and dividing that by 52. This method works if you didn’t lose 5 or more calendar days in the 52 weeks before you were injured on the job. If you did lose 5 or more calendar days in the 52 weeks before you were injured on the job, the earnings over 52 weeks are divided by the number of weeks and parts of weeks left after you deduct the lost time. So, if you worked for your employer for the last 52 weeks making $1000 each week, your average weekly wage should be $52,000 divided by 52. However, if you are a flight attendant who only worked 30 of the last 52 weeks, the average weekly wage would be $52,000 divided by 30. It is crucial that the insurer use the correct number of weeks you actually worked.

If you are only casually employed by an airline, calculation may be considered impractical, and in that case, the question is what the average weekly amount would be for someone in the same grade employed at the same workplace for each of the 52 weeks for the same number of hours per week as you would have made.

If you’re employed concurrently with two employers, and the employer at whose workplace you were injured knows of the two jobs, your wages from both of these employers is considered, as if you earned it from the employer that’s liable for workers’ compensation benefits. For example, if you are working for two different airlines at the same airport, one full-time and one part-time, and you’re injured at the full-time job, the income from the part-time job should be included in the average weekly wage calculation.

Consult a Seasoned Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago

At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, our Chicago lawyers represent injured airline workers in Quincy, Aurora, Rockford, Springfield, and Champaign, as well as Kane County, Cook County, Sangamon County, Winnebago County, and Adams County. We will also examine your situation to determine whether other remedies are appropriate. Call us toll-free at 800-444-1525 or at 312-263-6330 or contact us via our online form.