Learn About Ohio Workers’ Compensation
Average Weekly Wage
The Ohio workers’ compensation system can be confusing. Our learn about pages provide basic information about the Ohio workers’ compensation system. You can find out more about the system from our Ohio Workers’ Compensation Guide or our explanation of Ohio workers’ compensation terms.
Learn about the average weekly wage:
- For most types of workers’ compensation, the injured worker’s average weekly wage will determine the amount at which benefits are paid.
- The BWC or self-insured employer will calculate the average weekly wage. If you feel that the average weekly wage has been set too low, you will need to file a motion to have the average weekly wage recalculated.
- The standard method of calculating the average weekly wage uses the injured worker’s total earnings from the year before the injury, divided by 52. All of the injured worker’s earnings should be included, even if the injured worker had more than one job at a time.
- To establish earnings for the year before injury, you can submit pay stubs, or W2 forms. Wage information can be submitted on a wage statement form, form C94-A.
- Weeks where the injured worker was unemployed due to circumstances beyond their control should be excluded from the calculation.
- The average weekly wage is supposed to result in “substantial justice.” Therefore, if due to “special circumstances” the standard method of calculation results in the average weekly wage being too low, the average weekly wage should be recalculated. To have the average weekly wage recalculated due to special circumstances you will probably have to appeal the average weekly wage and go to a hearing.
- If the average weekly wage is low due to a “lifestyle choice”, then the special circumstances provision will not apply. A lifestyle choice is basically a decision to reduce your earnings for personal reasons. For example, a decision to work part-time to have more time to spend with family would be considered a lifestyle choice. However, a decision to work part-time because no other employment is available should not be considered a personal choice.
- There is also a statewide average weekly wage. The statewide average weekly wage is recalculated each year and is used to determine that maximum and minimum amounts of compensation which are paid, as well as the amount which is paid for an amputation/loss of use award.
See our temporary total page for more information about temporary total compensation.