In Massachusetts, when an employee has more than one job at the time he or she was hurt at work, the weekly disability benefits are calculated by adding the average weekly wages earned at both jobs. One caveat, however, is that both jobs must be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. This is referred to as concurrent employment.
Concurrent Employment Can Result in Increased Workers' Compensation Disability Benefits
Concurrent employment can significant increase the amount of workers’ compensation disability benefits an injured worker may receive after being hurt on the job. To better understand concurrent employment, let’s look at an example:
Let us assume you hurt your back at work in Framingham, Massachusetts lifting something heavy. Your injury prevents you from returning to work. You earned an average weekly wage of $750.00 at this job. Based upon this information, if you were rendered totally disabled from this injury, you would be entitled to Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits, which is calculated as 60% of your average weekly wage. So, your TTD weekly rate would be $450.00 ($750.00 X 60%).
At the same time as your injury, you had another job in Natick, Massachusetts working part-time. This employer carried workers’ compensation insurance. In addition to your other job, you earned $500 per week at the part-time job in Natick. This would be considered concurrent employment. Considering your concurrent employment, in order to determine your TTD weekly rate, you would add together the two average weekly wages from both employers. Thus, your TTD weekly rate would be $750.00 per week ($750.00 + $500.00 = $1,250.00 X 60% = $750.00).
Make Sure You Inform the Workers' Compensation Insurer About Your Concurrent Employment
As you can see, concurrent employment results in an increased TTD rate ($750.00 vs. $450.00 per week). This is why, if you are injured at work and have more than one job at that time, you need to inform the workers’ compensation insurance company or their adjusters about your other jobs. In most situations, the workers’ compensation insurance company won’t know about your other jobs unless you tell them. If you have questions about concurrent employment or your current workers’ compensation benefits, it is highly recommended you consult with an experienced Massachusetts worker’s compensation attorney.