66 2/3 % means 66 2/3 %

Stop what you're doing. We have all been simply multiplying a claimant's average weekly wage (AWW) by .6667 or apparently per this opinion, .66667 to determine a claimant's compensation rate (CR) and we are all wrong .

The First DCA has indicated that the simplified method outlined above that has been employed for over three decades to calculate a claimant's appropriate CR by those practicing in this arena is inaccurate.

For those of you who haven't seen the opinion yet, it can be read in it's entirety at: http://opinions.1dca.org/written/opinions2013/04-03-2013/12-4813.pdf.

Briefly, the facts of the case are as follows. The Employer/Carrier (E/C) calculated the claimant's CR by multiplying his AWW by .66667, resulting in a CR of $529.48. The Judge of Compensation Claims (JCC) determined that the appropriate CR was $529.50 - reached by multiplying the claimant's CR by .6667. An award of correction of the underpayment of benefits based on the .02 difference in the CR was awarded. The E/C appealed the JCC's determination of the claimant's CR.

Although unimportant for purposes of this blog, the First DCA reversed the award after determining that the E/C had paid at a CR higher than that which is required by strict application of the statute per the below methods ($529.47 per week).

Instead of the foregoing, the First DCA has indicated that there are only two truly correct methods to calculate a claimant's CR.

  1. AWW x 66% (.66) = a

AWW x 1% (.01) = b

b x 2/3 = c

a + c = d

round d to cents

OR

  1. AWW x 2 = a

a/3 = b

round b to cents

As you can see, the second method is slightly less complicated and is probably the preferred method that will be utilized by most of us in the industry.

Brian Tadros

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