What workers' compensation wage loss benefits may be available and how much can they be?

State employees with disabling injuries or illnesses arising out of and in the course of employment may qualify for wage loss benefits under the state Workers' Disability Compensation Act, civil service rules, and collective bargaining agreements. Eligibility for and the amount of these various benefits can depend on the amount of other qualifying benefits. The terms of the act, rules, or agreements are dispositive and should be consulted.

Basic statutory benefits: Under the Workers' Disability Compensation Act, if disability extends beyond 7 consecutive days, employees may receive a benefit equal to 80% of the after-tax value of their average weekly net wage based upon their highest-paid 39 weeks of gross wages (including overtime) of the 52 weeks immediately prior to the illness or injury. Many factors are included in this calculation including the tax filing status, the number of dependents, and the state and federal tax rates.  Statutory benefits, however, are subject to limits established by the state Workers' Compensation Agency. Basic statutory benefits continue for the duration of the disability.

2/3 supplement benefits: If basic statutory benefits are less than two-thirds of regular weekly net wage (i.e., two-thirds of base hourly salary multiplied by 40 hours), state employees may qualify for a 2/3 supplement benefit based on the civil service rules or collective bargaining agreements. The 2/3 supplement equals the difference between the basic statutory benefit and two-thirds of regular weekly net wages. The general supplement is normally limited to 50 weeks, subject to eligibility. The rules or collective bargaining agreements may contain additional terms affecting this calculation.

100% assault pay supplement: If disability resulted from an assault from a client in specified agencies, employees may qualify under state law, the civil service rules, or collective bargaining agreements for a 100% assault supplement instead of the 2/3 supplement. The 100% assault supplement equals the difference between basic statutory benefits and regular net wages. The 100% assault supplement is normally limited to 100 weeks, subject to eligibility.

Again, this is a basic summary of benefits available and cannot cover every aspect of the complex system used to determine the exact amount of qualifying benefits. Please consult relevant statutes, rules, or agreements for all dispositive terms and conditions that will govern benefit calculation.