Maximum Average Monthly Wage Used to Calculate Benefits

By Jason Weinstock on June 26, 2009

When an injured worker is taken off work by the treating doctor, the insurer pays the injured worker 66 2/3 of the injured worker’s average monthly wage if it does not exceed the state’s maximum average monthly wage for the year in which the accident occurred.  For injuries occurring after July 1, 2009, the maximum average monthly wage has been certified by Nevada’s Dept. of ESD as $5,208.60 a month.   That means that an injured worker who is unable to work for a month can receive a maximum of $3,472.40 a month in benefits.  As benefits are usually paid every two weeks, and each day in a 14 day period is counted, the bi-weekly benefit check would be $1,603.88.  If the injured worker is earning less than the state maximum average monthly wage, the benefit is 66 2/3 of the actual gross wages earned.  Rate charts showing the maximum average monthly wage going back to fiscal year 1974 are at this link.

The period of earnings that are examined is usually a 12-week period immediately preceeding  the date of the injury.  However, an injured worker may request that the insurer use a one year earnings history, or the full period of employment if it is greater than 4 weeks, but less than a full year, if it would result in a higher average monthly wage calculation.  The regulations on how to fairly calculate an injured worker’s average monthly wage begin at NAC 616C.420.  If an injured worker has an unusual employment arrangement, has more than one employer at the time of his accident, or thinks that the benefits paid by the insurer are less than 2/3 of his typical monthly gross income, a free consultation with an attorney would be wise.   The average monthly wage that is established by the insurer to calculate the amount of temporary total disability benefits is also used to calculate how much a final permanent partial disability award will be at the end of the claim.  It is one of the most important determinations the insurer makes on the claim.