Missouri  Average Weekly Wage and Benefit Maximums – July 1, 2024

Missouri  Average Weekly Wage and Benefit Maximums – July 1, 2024

The State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) used to determine maximum workers’ compensation benefits for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2024 and ending June 30, 2025 is $1,169.56.

This SAWW produces the maximum weekly benefit rates for injury and illness occurring on or after July 1, 2024, as follows:

Temporary Total Disability$1,228.04

Permanent Total Disability$1,228.04

Permanent Partial Disability$643.26

Death$1,228.04

The actual weekly wage rate necessary to attain the maximum benefit rate is $1,842.06 for Death, Temporary Total Disability and Permanent Total Disability and $964.89 for Permanent Partial Disability.

Also, as of July 1, 2024, the mileage allowance for travel expenses is 64.0 cents per mile

Understanding Wage Rates in Missouri Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a crucial safety net for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. In Missouri, the wage rate under workers’ compensation plays a significant role in determining the benefits an injured worker receives. This blog post explores the key aspects of wage rates in Missouri’s workers’ compensation system, providing a comprehensive understanding of how they are calculated and their impact on workers.

Wage Rate Calculation

In Missouri, the wage rate for workers’ compensation benefits is based on the injured worker’s average weekly wage (AWW) at the time of the injury. The AWW is calculated by taking the total gross earnings (including overtime and other forms of compensation) earned in the 13 weeks preceding the injury and dividing that amount by 13. This method aims to reflect the worker’s typical earnings and provide a fair basis for compensation.

For seasonal or part-time workers, calculating the AWW can be more complex. In such cases, the wage rate may be based on the average earnings of a similar worker in the same employment. This ensures that workers in non-standard employment situations are still fairly compensated.

Types of Compensation

Missouri’s workers’ compensation system provides various types of benefits, each with its wage rate calculation:

1. **Temporary Total Disability (TTD):** When an injured worker is completely unable to work for a temporary period, they are entitled to TTD benefits. These benefits are typically two-thirds of the worker’s AWW, up to a maximum limit set by state law. The maximum weekly benefit amount is adjusted annually to reflect changes in the state’s average wages.

2. **Temporary Partial Disability (TPD):** If an injured worker can perform some work but earns less than their pre-injury wages, they may receive TPD benefits. These benefits are calculated as two-thirds of the difference between the worker’s AWW and their post-injury earnings.

3. **Permanent Total Disability (PTD):** For workers who are permanently and completely unable to work, PTD benefits are provided. These benefits are also calculated at two-thirds of the worker’s AWW, subject to the same maximum limits as TTD benefits.

4. **Permanent Partial Disability (PPD):** When a worker sustains a permanent injury that partially impairs their ability to work, PPD benefits are awarded. The amount depends on the severity of the injury and its impact on the worker’s earning capacity. Missouri uses a schedule of injuries to determine the number of weeks for which benefits are paid, with the weekly benefit amount being two-thirds of the worker’s AWW.

Impact on Workers

Understanding wage rates in workers’ compensation is crucial for injured workers in Missouri, as it directly affects their financial stability during recovery. Adequate compensation ensures that workers can cover medical expenses and support their families while they are unable to work. However, the cap on maximum weekly benefits means that higher-earning workers may receive benefits that are significantly less than their usual wages, potentially leading to financial strain.

Employers and insurers also play a vital role in ensuring that wage rate calculations are accurate and benefits are promptly paid. Disputes over wage rates can delay benefits and add stress to an already challenging situation for injured workers. Therefore, it is essential for all parties involved to have a clear understanding of the wage rate determination process and to work collaboratively to resolve any issues.

Wage rates in Missouri’s workers’ compensation system are a fundamental aspect of providing fair and adequate benefits to injured workers. By accurately calculating the average weekly wage and applying the appropriate benefit rates, the system aims to support workers during their recovery and ensure their financial well-being. For workers, employers, and insurers alike, a thorough understanding of these wage rates is essential for navigating the workers’ compensation process effectively.