If you’ve been injured while working overseas as a government employee or contractor, you likely qualify for assistance and compensation under the Defence Base Act.
One of the key defining parameters of determining your compensation amount is calculating your average weekly wage. Wages are calculated based on your true and accurate annual earning potential.
Thus it is important to understand how wages are calculated and seek the help of a professional Defence Base Act attorney to ensure you get everything you’re entitled to.
How To Calculate Your Average Weekly Wage
Calculating your AWW (average weekly wage) under the Defence Base Act falls into two main categories.
Five & Six Day Average Work Week
The calculation for employees or contractors working a standard 5 or 6 day work week is fairly straightforward. You must have worked for a substantial part of the past year before your injury occurred.
Annual pay is determined by using the following formula:
5 day per week worker – 260 times daily wage (260 is the average working days per year)
6 day per week worker – 300 times daily wage (300 is the average working days per year)
To calculate your average wage, simply divide your annual earnings by 52.
If you have not worked a substantial portion of the past year, your wage will be estimated based on the average earnings of an employee in a similar position and region working a substantial portion of the year.
Seven Days A Week & Casual
For workers who do not adhere to a standard work schedule, wages are determined using:
Total earning that employee earned before being injured
The average annual earnings of an employee in a similar position and location
From this, you figure out your annual salary and then divide it by 52 weeks to get your weekly pay.
Classification Of DBA Compensation
The specific way you were injured and the classification you receive has a big impact on your compensation amounts. There are 4 main classifications.
Permanent Total Disability
You are completely and permanently disabled with no chance of returning to the work you did prior to your injury. In this case, you would receive ⅔ (two-thirds) of your average working wage for life.
Temporary Total Disability
You have injured to the point that you cannot work at all in the role you had before your injury, however, you are expected to return to that position after a period of healing. In this case, you would receive ⅔ (two-thirds) of your AWW until you return to work.
Permanent Partial Disability
You have sustained permanent injuries but may be able to work other jobs or duties. Injuries sustained under the Longshore Act such as loss of hearing or loss of a limb, compensation is determined based on ⅔ of the Annual working wage and percentage of loss of the injured body part. For all other injuries (unscheduled permanent partial disability) compensation is based on ⅔ of the worker’s lost wages.
Temporary Partial Disability
You have sustained injuries but can still perform light duties at work. Compensation is based on receiving ⅔ of lost wages.
Need Help With Your DBA Claim? Call The Experts
At Overseas Contractors, our job is to help you navigate the complex world of Defence Base Act Insurance. We make it easy for you to lodge your claim and get the maximum benefits you’re owed, helping you every step of the way with sound advice backed by years of experience.
Contact us today for help filling out your claim and determining your wages.