What happens during the informal conference?
The Commissioner, or more likely a Claims Mediator, will review the doctor’s report of your treatment. You will be asked if the injury limited your physical activities and the Claims Mediator will look at any scars or disfigurement left by the injury. After a brief discussion with you and the insurance representative, the Claims Mediator will recommend a settlement amount. If you agree, you will be asked to sign an agreement and you will be mailed a check for the settlement amount. You do not have to pay taxes on this amount.
How does the Commissioner or the Claims Mediator decide how much I get paid for my injury?
Your award is based on 66 2/3% of your average weekly pay before taxes and other deductions, up to a maximum amount set under the workers’ compensation law. This is called your compensation rate. In addition, many body parts have been assigned a value measured in weeks of compensation. For example, the complete loss of the use of an arm is valued as 220 weeks of compensation. Depending on the seriousness of your injury, the percent of disability or loss of use agreed to at the conference will be multiplied by the value of the injured body part and your compensation rate. In the earlier example, if we assume that the injured worker has an average weekly wage of $450, the compensation rate would be $300(66 2/3% x $450 = $300). The worker would receive $6600 for an injury that resulted in a 10% loss of use of the arm (10% x 220 weeks x $300 = $6600