Calculating Wage - Basic Summary
Basic Two-Part Comparison
The TTD rate for a full-time employee is computed at 66.67% of the higher of the:
- Hourly rate, including a shift differential if in effect when injured, multiplied by the number of regularly scheduled hours of work, or
- Taxable gross earnings, excluding tips, paid by the insured in the 52-weeks
prior to the week of the injury, divided by the number of weeks worked (or in a
pay status, as in paid vacation and sick leave) in that same period. Weeks and
earnings while on short or long term disability or TTD or salary continued from
a previous claim are not included. Gross earnings of less than six weeks are
reported but not used to establish the average weekly wage (AWW). Any part of a
calendar week worked counts as a week.
Note: If the employee has changed status from full-time to part-time, and if the new schedule has been in effect for at least 90 days, use only the gross earnings and weeks dating from the schedule change.
The TTD rate for a part-time employee who does not self restrict (see discussion below on self restriction) is no less than 24 times the hourly rate of pay at the time of injury. A determination must be made on whether or not the employee is part of a class of regularly scheduled part-time employees. The gross average is calculated in the same way as full-time employees, described above.
Note: TTD and PPD rates can be no higher than the maximum rate in effect for the year of the injury. The PPD rate is at the maximum if the employee was under the age of 27 when injured, unless otherwise established.
Common errors: not including overtime when it is part of the regular schedule; not including shift differential; not including all taxable earnings, such as incentive pay, bonuses and overtime in gross earnings; incorrectly counting “weeks worked/paid”; and using wages earned from other than the insured (in Wisconsin we don’t). A serious error is not documenting wages. The WKC-13A should report only confirmed, not estimated, wages.
You must file the WKC-13-A if the average wage is less than the maximum for the year of the injury, even for PPD only clams. The only hardcopy WKC-13A’s accepted are for fatal and litigated claims.
Part-time is defined as scheduled or actually worked less than 35 hours per week. The AWW is set at no less than 24-times the hourly rate unless the employee restricts availability on the labor market to part-time (i.e., does not want to work full-time and only has the job of injury, which is part-time: DWD 80.02(2)(d).)
If the part-time employee is “part of a class of regularly scheduled part-time employees” the wage is based on what the employee is scheduled, e.g., 30 hours but no less than 24 hours. Being “part of a class of regularly scheduled part-time employees” means (102.11(1)(am):
- There is at least one other part-time employee doing the same job with the same schedule; and
- The schedule does not vary for any member of that class by more than 5 hours; and
- If there are full-time employees doing the same job, the class of part-time employees represents a minimum of 10% of all the employees (generally at that site) doing the same type of work. There does not have to be full-time employees but if there are, the part-time employees must constitute at least 10% of the full-time employees doing the same job (full-time defined as scheduled not less than 35 hours).
The part-time employee is not part of a regularly scheduled class if:
- There is no other part-time employee doing the same job with the same schedule (same arrangement of hours, e.g., works three six hour days), or
- The injured employee is not working a regular schedule (schedule varies by more than 5 hours), or
- The class of part-time employees is less than 10% of the full-time employees doing the same job.
Leaves two options:
- expand the employee’s wage to full-time/40 hours, or
- if the employee restricts his/her availability on the labor market to part-time (and signs a statement so stating), set the wage at the higher of the actual wage and set the TTD rate at 100%. See next section for details.
*There are numerous “exceptional employment” situations concerning
part-time employees. See: Determine Wages for
Employees in Exceptional Work Schedules or Receiving Exceptional Types of Compensation. The Internet version of the WKC-13A is designed for insurers and their claims administrators to enable them to submit Wage Information Supplements to the Worker’s Compensation Division without sending the hard copy reports. There is a "Help" button that links to some information that may be useful when submitting claims in this manner.
Self Restriction On The Labor Market
Limits the TTD rate (and only the TTD rate) for part-time employees who place limits on the number of hours they can/will work. It also requires payment of TTD at 100% rather that 66.67%. In most cases, self-restriction requires a statement signed by the employee. The PPD rate is not affected by using a restriction statement.
Notes on Self Restriction: The form (WKC-12698-E) may be downloaded from our web site.
- The employee must state that he/she wants to work part-time only AND state that he/she had no other employment or self-employment besides the job of injury at the time of the injury. See DWD 80.02(2)(d).
- The statement must be signed and dated by the employee after the injury (no pre-agreements). If under age 16 when injured, the statement is not needed but the WKC-13A must indicate that the employee restricts. The WKC-13A may be filed before the statement is completed and returned to DWD.
- An employee cannot be paid a higher TTD rate using the 100% rate (restriction) than if the employee was expanded to 24 hours (if part of class) or 40 hours (if not part of class) and paid at 66.67%.
- Even if the employee has signed a valid statement, you may not be able to use it (but keep it on file). The statement cannot be used if the employee would receive a greater TTD benefit compared to not using it.
- The PPD rate is calculated without the restriction statement.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
Restricted/light duty may mean reduced hours, reduced rate of pay, reduced workload, or some combination.
The TPD payment is computed as a percentage of the weekly wage loss between what the employee is currently earning while on restricted/light duty and the AWW at the time of injury or, for part-time employees, the “actual” (not expanded) weekly wage. For full-time employees the TPD wage is the same as the AWW.
For part-time employees the TPD wage may be lower than the AWW. If the TPD earnings are from the job of injury do not use the expanded wage; the TPD wage will be the highest “actual” wage (this presumes gross earnings of at least six weeks or a regular schedule). If a part-time employee held another job when injured and has returned to that job, and if the employee was expanded to 40 hours, wages from the other job may be offset from the expanded wage. Earnings from the other job cannot be off-set if the employee was expanded to 24 or not expanded at all. (See 102.43(6)(b) with footnote)
Additions To Cash Wage
The standard value for “meals” and “room” is set in Wis. Admin. Code DWD 80.29 and 272. The value of all other items is set by common marketplace value to the employee. See chart below for meal and lodging rates for adult non-agricultural employees. Meals received at a discount are not used as additions to cash wage.
Tips: Be sure the employer reports total tips separate from total gross. Then divide the total tips by the weeks worked for the tips to get the weekly tip average. The average tips per week then will be divided by actual hours worked to get the tip rate. The tip rate is added to the hourly rate when calculating wage and must equal no less than minimum wage. The weekly tip average is added to the gross earnings average. See ERD-9247-P (Spanish ERD-9247-S-P) for complete Minimum Wage Rates chart.
House or Apartment: Employer to determine value. Be sure to check if the housing is shared, e.g., shared with one other person, use half the value if the employer gives you the total value.
Need to know if any of the above (except tips) is continued during the disability. Those items continued by the employer through the disability period, and for which reimbursement is not expected, need not be added to the TTD wage for the period received. However, they are included in the PPD and death benefit rates. If discontinued during the disability period, the value must be refigured into the TTD rate (contact DWD).
This brief summary was prepared for discussion only. Always refer to state statutes and administrative codes as they apply to specific situations.