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Benefit Levels - Indiana WC Law

Information on Indiana workers compensation benefit increases.;

House Enrolled Act 1320 included changes to benefit levels beginning July 1, 2014. For a detailed discussion of HEA 1320, see ICRB Circular 2013-04 and ICRB Circular 2013-05.
 
See WC Benefits spreadsheet to view the recent history of benefit level changes. It contains three charts showing the average weekly wage, permanent partial impairment degrees, and the impact on rates as benefits increase. The legislature did not implement benefit changes from 2003 - 2005. Benefit increases resume in 2006 with slight increase each year running through 2010 by virtue of HEA 1307.  There were no benefit increases inacted in 2011, 2012, nor in 2013.
 
Benefits Not Taxable Income
Note: Disability compensation for lost wages under workers compensation is not taxable income, per Internal Revenue Code §104.
 
Source: WC Board of Indiana, Guide to Indiana Workers's Compensation, page A-34
 
The reason is that workers compensation benefits are intended to replace lost wages. Wages, of course, are taxable income. However, workers compensation benefits are also intended to compensate you for injury, and payments for injuries are not taxable.
 
 
Part-time Worker Wages
Excerpt from Indiana Chamber of Commerce Workers Compensation Handbook, Fifth Edition, page 37:
 
"Part-time, periodic or seasonal employment is often problematic and the Worker's Compensation Act offers little guidance. A rule of reason must be applied. For example, if the work was to be and had only been a few days per month and was anticipated to continue on that basis, then it would not be fair to pay temporary total disability compensation computed by disregarding the intervening non-work days. If the employment was seasonal, the average weekly wage would be most fairly computed by considering the wages paid during the season only without dividing those wages by 52.
 
If the average weekly wage is below the statutory maximum, it may be that all income has not, been included. Overtime, tips, bonuses, in-kind compensation and earnings from other similar employments should be considered in computing the average weekly wage. But the employer's costs of benefits or perks have not been considered to be includable in the average weekly wage since they are not paid "in lieu of wages" as required by the Act."
 
Bonus or Profit Sharing
If these amounts show up on an employee’s regular check and can be taxed then they can be included in the AWW calculation.

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The material in this document has been prepared and shared for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice on any particular situation.