The proper rate for workers compensation benefits, commonly referred to as the "comp rate" is critical.
Most of the North Carolina workers' compensation benefits that an injured worker can collect is based upon the "comp rate."
It is therefore to the advantage of the injured worker that the "comp rate" be computed in a manner so as to result in the highest possible number. The first step in computing the approprate "comp rate" is to establish the highest average weekly wage posssible.
Once a determination has been made as to the proper average weekly wage, the compensation rate, is determined by multiplying the average weekly wage by 66 2/3%. This comp rate equates to 2/3 of the employee’s average weekly wage. However, in no event may the compensation rate be less than $30 per week.
There is a statutory ceiling on the amount of the compensation rate. No matter how high the employee’s weekly wage, the comp rate may not exceed the maximum amount. The maximum amount of workers’ compensation rate is derived by multiplying North Carolina’s average weekly insured wage by 1.10, and rounding such figure to the nearest multiple of $2.00.
This maximum amount is determined specifically by the North Carolina Industrial Commission each year. For injuries occurring after January 1, 2013, the maximum weekly compensation rate is $884.00.
Once the compensation rate has been correctly determined, it never changes. It does not increase as does Social Security Disability benefits. It will stay the same no matter how many years the worker continues to receive workers’ compensation benefits.