The average weekly wage of an injured employee at the time of the injury or at the time disability due to the occupational disease begins is the basis upon which to compute benefits.
In cases of temporary total disability the compensation for the first twelve weeks for which compensation is payable shall be based on the full weekly wage of the claimant at the time of the injury or at the time of the disability due to occupational disease begins; when a factory, mine, or other place of employment is working short time in order to divide work among the employees, the bureau of workers' compensation shall take that fact into consideration when determining the wage for the first twelve weeks of temporary total disability.
Compensation for all further temporary total disability shall be based as provided for permanent disability claims.
In death, permanent total disability claims, permanent partial disability claims, and impairment of earnings claims, the claimant's or the decedent's average weekly wage for the year preceding the injury or the date the disability due to the occupational disease begins is the weekly wage upon which compensation shall be based. In ascertaining the average weekly wage for the year previous to the injury, or the date the disability due to the occupational disease begins any period of unemployment due to sickness, industrial depression, strike, lockout, or other cause beyond the employee's control shall be eliminated.
In cases where there are special circumstances under which the average weekly wage cannot justly be determined by applying this section, the administrator of workers' compensation, in determining the average weekly wage in such cases, shall use such method as will enable the administrator to do substantial justice to the claimants, provided that the administrator shall not recalculate the claimant's average weekly wage for awards for permanent total disability solely for the reason that the claimant continued working and the claimant's wages increased following the injury.
Effective Date: 10-20-1993; 2006 SB7 10-11-2006 .