Nevada employees whose work-related accident or occupational illness occurs after 7/1/15 are entitled to receive the lesser of 2/3 of their actual average monthly, or 2/3 of the state maximum average monthly wage of $5,426.25. If the injured worker was making more than the state maximum, she is only entitled to receive 2/3 of the state maximum. That means that if the injured worker is off work due to the injury for a month, or her employer does not have light duty work within the doctor’s restrictions, she will receive $3,617.50 in compensation benefits that month. The usual 14-day payment will be $1,663.76. Each day in the pay period is counted, including Saturdays and Sundays, when calculating compensation benefits. The daily rate under the new maximum average monthly wage is $118.84. Click here for more information on how the state decides what the maximum will be each fiscal year.
The average monthly wage used to calculate off work benefits is also an important factor in determining how much money an injured worker will received if he has a permanent impairment as defined by the criteria in the AMA Guides to Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. If the adjuster sends you a letter with your average monthly wage, and it seems too low, don’t neglect to do something about it, even if you aren’t losing time from work. You could lose a significant amount of money by not making sure that the average monthly wage is as high as it should be when it is time to calculate a PPD award.
The average monthly wage at the time of the injury also controls the amount of compensation benefits if the claim is ever reopened in the future. Your original injury may have occurred ten years ago when you were making a lot less money. If you need to reopen your claim now and will be out of work again for another surgery, your benefits will be based on what your income was 10 years ago. It doesn’t cost anything to check with a reputable attorney about whether your compensation benefits are calculated correctly and whether you should be proceeding on a reopened claim as opposed to a new claim.