How Weekly Average Wages Are Calculated Under the DBA

How Weekly Average Wages Are Calculated Under the DBA

Feb 4, 2021 | Defense Base Act

Around 26% of civilian workers experience PTSD from their work environments. They also have high rates of injury on the job, making a regular work routine impossible.

So how do you continue to live freely if you’re injured and unable to work?

The Defense Base Act is there to provide compensation to employees injured on or off the job. However, defining fair weekly average wages under DBA is vital for employees to get what they need.

Injured parties will receive compensation deemed as an accurate portrayal of their annual earning potential. This means you need to get very clear about how your earning potential is defined.

Read below to find the three ways of calculating weekly average wages in DBA cases and what fits your needs best.

5 and 6 Day Substantial Workers

The compensation act first discusses the average 5 or 6-day worker. These civilian employees must work a substantial part of the year before their injury to be in this category.

Working an extended length of a year allows for your average weekly salary to be easily calculated.

Claimants may have worked with more than one employer in the year. The Defense Base Act considers time spent working to be most important in this calculation instead of the number of employers.

A DBA claim made for an employee with this classification uses the following to determine the annual pay:

  • 6 Day Worker: 300 times the average daily wage
  • 5 Day Worker: 260 times the average daily wage

You must examine your annual earnings and divide that by 52 weeks to arrive at your average daily wage. You have a more accurate picture of your average yearly potential when working an extended part of the year. Your time on the job makes this step easy.

5 and 6 Day Unsubstantial Workers

The second group discussed in the Defense Base Act is the 5 or 6-day employee who has not worked a large part of the year. This means you haven’t worked in the same position or a similar one for most of the year before injury.

Weekly average wages become trickier to calculate in this case. A DBA claim will look at an employee working in a similar position for an extended amount of the year. This worker’s average daily wage becomes a reasonable estimation of yours.

From there, you follow the same formula as above:

  • 6 Day Worker: 300 times the average daily wage of a similar employee
  • 5 Day Worker: 260 times the average daily pay of a comparable employee

The annual average earnings are then divided by 52 weeks to arrive at your weekly average wages.

Accounting for Other Schedules

The final group in the Act describes employees who don’t follow a standard work schedule. They could be 7-day workers or on a different routine that makes the above calculations unfair.

The Defense Base Act defines reasonable weekly average wages to be a sum of:

  • Earnings the employee made in the position he/she had at the time of injury
  • Average annual earnings of employees in a similar role and locale

This allows you to arrive at a fair average annual earning and divide by 52 for the weekly salary.

Calculating Fair Weekly Average Wages 

Identifying your weekly average wages is crucial when submitting a DBA claim upon injury or death. The calculations outlined above administers the amount you receive upon injury. You deserve the fair amount, and Barnes Law Firm is here to ensure you get it.

Contact us to receive the top support in figuring out your wages or filing your claims.