Is My Workers’ Compensation Check Short?

April 22, 2024

By:  Emily E. Walters

Kentucky workers are tough.  They operate heavy machinery, build cars and houses, work in manufacturing, and provide medical care to our loved ones, all in ensuring the backbone of America stays strong.  But, when a Kentucky worker is hurt at work, they are often more concerned about providing for their family and do not want to let their co-workers down.

Knowing you are receiving the most benefits from the Kentucky Workers’ Compensation system is helpful.  Working with an experienced worker’s compensation lawyer can help ease the burdens of balancing your health, financial well-being, and future career.

Kentucky workers hurt on the job are entitled to various benefits to help with income and medical expenses.  KRS Chapter 342.  These benefits include wages for time taken off work to recover from the injury.  If a worker cannot return to any level of work following an injury and is not considered fully recovered from the injury, the employer must pay temporary total disability benefits.  These benefits are known as TTD.

TTD benefits do not begin until an employee has been off work for two weeks.  Once disability from the work injury exceeds two weeks, the employer should pay TTD benefits back to the original date of injury.  KRS 342.040(1).

The amount of income benefits any injured worker receives, whether for temporary or permanent injury, is based on the calculation of a workers’ average weekly wage.  Often, this calculation becomes the most important factor in any work injury.  TTD is only two-thirds of an employees’ average weekly wage subject to a state’s maximum wage that is adjusted each year.

Injured employees are often frustrated with the results of the average weekly wage calculation because the results seem less than their weekly paycheck.  An experienced Kentucky Workers’ Compensation lawyer can review your benefits and ensure you are receiving the maximum benefits owed to you.  Your average weekly wage should include hours for overtime at the regular rate, shift differentials, and bonuses based on your performance.  KRS 342.140.  Employers often overlook these added bonuses when calculating wages, leaving your TTD check short. 

If you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, look back at your paystubs for the last year before the injury.  You may have to request them through your employer’s payroll service or human resources.  With the help of an experienced work injury lawyer, you can better understand your benefits and options.  Do not assume your employer or the insurance claims representative has your best interests in mind when determining the amount of benefits owed to you.

This Blog is not legal advice and is not intended to be legal advice.  Should you have any questions regarding the subject matter, please contact Emily E. Walters, Esq., at Ziegler & Schneider, P.S.C., (859) 426-1300, for additional information.


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