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Income Benefits and Average Weekly Wage Calculations

Texas Labor Code (TLC) 408 .081-408.162
28 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) 129.1-131.4

Income benefits replace a portion of wages you lose because of a work-related injury or illness. There are four types of income benefits:

Income benefits may not exceed the maximum weekly amount set by state law. Temporary income benefits, impairment income benefits, and lifetime income benefits are also subject to a minimum amount set by state law. Maximum and minimum benefit amounts are based on the state average weekly wage.

You must report any wages (other than income benefits you may be receiving) to TDI-DWC and the Insurance Carrier so an adjustment can be made to your income benefit payments. You may be fined and/or charged with fraud if you receive temporary income benefits while also receiving wages from an employer without informing TDI-DWC and the Insurance Carrier.

Income benefits are no longer payable following the death of an injured employee receiving income benefits. The injured employee's beneficiaries may be eligible to apply for and receive death benefits if the injured employee's death was due to the work-related injury or illness.

Average Weekly Wage Calculations

TLC §§408.041 - 408.047

Calculation of Average Weekly Wage (AWW) for a Full Time Employee

TLC §§408.041-408.047, 28 TAC §§128.1 - 128.7

Your income benefit rate is determined from the calculation of your average weekly wage (AWW). A full-time employee is one who regularly works at least 30 hours per week. To calculate your average weekly wage, (Note: Calculation is different for school district employees - see below), add your earnings for the 13 weeks prior to the injury including any overtime or other special pay and any non-pecuniary wages the employer does not continue after your injury and divide by 13. If you did not work for your employer for 13 weeks before the work-related injury or illness occurred, your average weekly wage may be calculated using the earnings of an employee with the same or a similar job.

AWW Calculation - Full-time employee:

13 weeks wage at $824.23 = $10,714.99

Health Insurance Premium
(discontinued $82.00 per week x 13) = $ 1,066.00

Average weekly wage = $11,780.99 / 13 = $906.23

Multiple Employment

TLC §408.042

If you have more than one job at the time of your injury, your work-related injury occurred with employer carrying workers ' compensation insurance and the injury keeps you from working at your other job(s), you may report any wages that are reportable for federal income tax purposes for consideration of lost wages. The following are examples of how your AWW would be calculated for multiple employment:

AWW Calculation - Multiple Employment:

Claim Employer AWW: $700 Non-Claim Employer AWW: $300
Regardless of the type of employment
NEVER includes non-pecuniary wages

Add all the AWWs together to compute multiple employment AWW:

$700 (+) $300 (=) $1,000 Multiple Employment AWW

School District Employees

TLC §408.0446, 28 TAC §128.7

If you work for a school district, the average weekly wage is calculated based on the wages earned, not wages paid, during that period. Some school district employees can choose to either be paid their wages during the nine (9) months of the school year or receive equal payments over a twelve (12) month period. Therefore, the wages are only earned during the nine (9) months of school even though the wages continue to be paid over a twelve (12) month period. For example, if there are no actual wages earned for the three (3) months during the summer break and you do not work for another employer during that time, the AWW will be zero and no TIBs will be due.

For determining the amount of TIBS of a school district employee, the AWW is computed on the basis of wages earned in a week rather than on the basis of wages paid in a week. The wages earned in any given week are equal to the amount that would be deducted from an employee's salary if the employee were absent from work for one week and did not have leave available to compensate the employee for lost wages for that week. The carrier may adjust the AWW as necessary to reflect the actual wages the school district employee earned. If the school district employee has earnings from a second job, including any employment during the summer break, these earnings will be used to calculate an AWW for TIBs.

Only pecuniary wages are used in the calculation of income benefits. Non-pecuniary wages are never included. This is true for all income benefit types for school district employees.

The AWW for the calculation of impairment income, supplemental income, lifetime income, and death benefits is also different. The total wages earned during the past twelve (12) months are divided by fifty (50) to establish the average weekly wage for these benefits. Evidence of earnings from employers other than the school district during the last 12 months may be included. The following are examples of how a school district employee's AWW is calculated:

# 1 - Sample School District - Written Contract Based on Months Worked

Amount of Contract: $45,000
Contract based on: 9 months of work

Calculation of AWW for TIBs Based on this Contract
$45,000 / 9 = $5,000 monthly amount
$5,000 / 4.34821 = $1,149.90 AWW for TIBs
Note: 4.34821 is the average number of weeks per month

Calculation of AWW for Benefits other than TIBs Based on this Contract
$45,000 / 50 = $900

# 2 - Sample School District - Written Contract Paid Based on Number of Days Worked

Amount of Contract: $45,000
Contract based on: 189 days

Calculation of AWW for TIBs Based on this Contract
$45,000 / 189 = $238.09 (daily amount)
$238.09 x 5 = $1,190.45 ( AWW for TIBs)

Calculation of AWW for Benefits other than TIBs Based on this Contract
$45,000 / 50 = $900
Apply the maximum compensation rate of $541

Last updated: 5/16/2016