The average monthly wage statutory maximum payment per month in 2023 for Arizona injured employees on workers’ compensation is $5,393.37, up from $5,161.12 in 2022. That is an increase of $232.25 per month, or about 4.5 percent from 2022, which took effect on January 1, 2023, and ends December 31, 2023, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Cost Index for the prior year. This is the highest increase in this recent decade, surpassing the previous record of 2011 when the increase was 4.2 percent.
Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) uses the BLS Employment Cost Index to make the next year’s increase adjustment for the workers’ compensation insurance payment, including setting the maximum monthly payment that can be made to any injured Arizona workers. This action follows the legal mandate as governed by Arizona Revised Statutes Title 23. Labor § 23-1041(E).
If you had a salary of $9,000 per month, you would only get the capped maximum payment of $5,393.37 instead of calculating 662/3 of your salary to find your payment account. If there was no cap, your monthly amount would have been $5,994.00. However, if you made $3,000, and you were severely injured in a workplace accident with the possibility of total disability, then your benefits payment is calculated as 662/3 of $3,000. Your monthly benefits payment would be $1,998. This amount is paid to you to cover your rent/mortgage, utilities, food, car payment, and other life necessities. All medical bills are paid directly by the employer’s insurance company under workers’ compensation benefits.
If you were severely or permanently injured, such as in a case of a body part loss (leg, foot, arm, etc.), then you have an extra payment due to you on top of the monthly benefit paid out by workers’ compensation insurance. Here is a review of a previous example we did over a year ago in another post which we repeat here. The charts for calculating the body part chart come from the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Sixth Edition which is sold on Amazon. Here is the previous post example shown below.
“An injured worker’s monthly salary was $3,100.00 and he could not return to work for some time after the injury. He had severely injured his foot in the accident and would be unlikely to ever return to his previous job. Therefore, the doctor makes a .75 percent calculation of the salary first.
Weston S. Montrose, Esq, our head attorney at azworkcomplaw.com/, showed the values of injured parts list of the body which is found in the Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Sixth Edition. The calculation of the injury to the body part is determined by the insurer’s doctor during the assessment done after the accident has occurred and the claim is submitted to the ICA. This is only a brief summary of the list and values assigned and any part may change, due to the unique circumstances of the accident and the injury sustained.
|Body Part||Value (Monthly Benefit Payment)|
|First Finger (index)||Nine months|
|Second Finger||Seven months|
|Third Finger||Five months|
|Fourth Finger (little finger)||Four months|
|Great Toe||Seven months|
|Toe (other than Great Toe)||2.5 months|
|Major Hand||Fifty months|
|Minor Hand||Forty months|
|Major Arm||Sixty months|
|Minor Arm||Fifty months|
|Loss of Sight (w/o enucleation)||Twenty-five months|
|Loss of Hearing in one ear||Twenty months|
|Loss of Hearing in both ears||Sixty months|
|Facial Scars/Lost Teeth||No more than 18 months|
The table above represents “scheduled” impairments. Notice that there is no mention of injuries to the skull, neck, upper torso, and spine. These injuries would be categorized as “unscheduled” impairments and must be carefully reviewed by the presiding doctor to apply the correct value to the injured body part.
The image below, representing the Permanent Impairment Benefits Flow Chart, created by Weston Montrose, shows how the doctor would do an evaluation of injured body parts. This is a step-by-step detailed process of making such determinations, as the injured worker must live with this calculated result unless there is a need to challenge such determinations. The challenge should always be handled by an Arizona workers’ compensation attorney as there are too many chances for the insurer to get around the dispute.
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