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Workers' comp: What are AWW, compensation rate for TTD and SEB?

When an injured worker or the family of a deceased worker files a workers' compensation claim with the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corporation or any other workers' compensation insurance carrier in Louisiana, they encounter certain terms that they may not have been familiar with earlier. However, it is important to understand those terms thoroughly in order to make sure that their claim is paid accurately. Some of the most common of those terms (or initialisms) are "AWW," "compensation for TTD" and "SEB."

First is AWW, which is Average Weekly Wage. In order to calculate AWW, the average of the pay from the last four weeks before being injured is taken into consideration. A full-time employee's weekly income includes pay received for 40 hours of work per week along with overtime, commissions and other taxable income, subject to certain limitations. While this is the most common AWW calculation method, there are other methods, depending on whether the worker was paid monthly, annually, unit-wise or otherwise.

Next is "compensation rate for TTD," or compensation rate for Temporary Total Disability. Per existing laws in Louisiana, a worker whose injury results in TTD is eligible to receive two-thirds of AWW as compensation, which is subject to certain weekly minimum and maximum limits as long as the effects of the injury last. Note that the worker will receive the greater of either the minimum weekly benefits or the full two-third of the AWW, but the worker will not receive more than the maximum weekly benefit.

Finally, "SEB" means Supplemental Earnings Benefit. In the event that an injured worker is able to return to work but is unable to earn at least 90 percent of the pre-injury wages, that worker may be entitled to receive two-thirds of the difference amount to supplement the earnings. This additional benefit is known as SEB and it continues until the worker gets back to full duty, begins earning pre-injury wages or hits the maximum benefit period of 520 weeks, whichever of these three situations comes the earliest.

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