Many injuries cause workers to not only lose time from one job, but may also cause them to lose time from a second job. Under the law, the lost time from the second job is also compensable. This is known as “Concurrent Employment.” The place of employment where you were working when you actually got injured is referred to as the “Primary Employment.”
The first step is to amend your Average Weekly Wage (“AWW”) to include wages earned from your Concurrent Employment. This is calculated the same was as your Average Weekly Wage; by taking your gross earnings for one year prior to your injury and dividing them by the number of weeks or days worked in that year. For an in-depth explanation on calculating the Average Weekly Wage, see “Quick Answers by MCV Law: Just What is the Average Weekly Wage”.
If you are out of work from both jobs, the inclusion of your Concurrent Employment wages into your Average Weekly Wage will increase your weekly benefits, because your rate is based on your Average Weekly Wage.
Oftentimes, injured workers are able to return to one employment but not the other. This generally occurs if your doctor has limited your hours or provided you with restrictions that one employer can accommodate but not the other. In that case, Reduced Earnings would apply. For help calculating your Reduced Earnings, please use our “Workers’ Compensation Reduced Earnings Calculator”.
The law says that if you return to work but earn less because of your injury, you can collect 2/3 of the difference between your Average Weekly Wage and your current earnings. Entitlement to Reduced Earnings requires you to demonstrate two things: restrictions or a limitation on your work abilities from your medical providers and a loss in pay, which is generally shown through your payroll. Also, the Concurrent Employment must be “covered employment” under the statute.
To demonstrate how Concurrent Employment affects your Reduced Earnings benefits, consider this example. If your Primary AWW is $400.00 and your Concurrent AWW is $100.00, this results in a total AWW for your case of $500.00. If you are only able to return to work for your Concurrent Employer, you are losing $400.00 a week in wages. Thus, you could collect $266.40 in Reduced Earnings Benefits. The idea is that your injury is preventing you from your earning what you were earning when you got hurt, regardless of the employer.