If you are hurt on the job and cannot work for more than 3 days, you are entitled to a weekly wage replacement payment, called Temporary Total Disability ("TTD"). The amount of the weekly Temporary Total Disability payment is determined as follows:
(1) Determine the average of the 26 weeks of gross pay (before taxes) prior to the date of the injury. Include all bonuses and overtime. However do not include any weeks where you worked less than 20 hours, and do not include the week of the injury. This number is called your "Average Weekly Wage" or "AWW."
(2) Take your Average Weekly Wage and multiply it by 2/3. This number should be very close to what you normally make per week after taxes. This number is called the "Weekly Comp Rate."
(3) Add $10 per dependent (child, stepchild, etc. whether or not the child is living with you).
There is no exception to using the 26 weeks prior to your injury, even if work was abnormally slow.
If you are not sure what your gross wages were for the 26 weeks prior to the injury, you should ask for the "Form 25" which is used to determine your Average Weekly Wage. You also have the right to ask your employer to give you a printout of your gross wages for the 26 weeks prior to the injury.
There are minimum and maximum Weekly Comp Rates which affect people with very low or very high wages. The Weekly Comp Rate cannot be less than the smaller of: (1) $373 (as of 7/1/10), or (2) 90% of your average weekly net wages (after taxes) for the 26 weeks prior to the injury. The Weekly Comp Rate cannot be larger than $1,119 (as of 7/1/10).
As long as you have been receiving TTD for at least 26 weeks, the amount goes up every July 1st. Ask for the "Form 28" which shows the increase every July 1st.
For more help on this topic, please go to www.vermontworkerscompensationlaw.com