Michigan Workers Compensation Laws

Michigan workers compensation laws have been designed in a way to provide rehabilitation, medical, and disability benefits to those employees who get injured or suffer from illness because of workplace accidents. The workers compensation agency that works under the state Department of Labor and Economic Growth oversees occupational injury claims.

Wage-Loss Benefits

Work-related injuries do not just result in medical expenses but also in loss of wages, especially in a situation where the injured employee is suffering from temporary or permanent disability caused by the injuries and is thus unable to return to work. Wage-loss benefits can amount to up to eighty percent of the wages that the employee had been earning before the date of the accident. The actual amount of wage-loss compensation is calculated by first determining the average wages of the 39 highest-paying weeks from a period of 52 weeks prior to the date of accident and then the weekly compensation is finalized at 80% of that average amount. As per Michigan workers compensation laws, there are provisions for wage-loss benefits for both partial and total disability. It means if you are fit enough to return to work but the partial disability caused by the occupational injury is so severe that you cannot perform your past job, the employer must pay you 80% of difference between the wages you were earning before the accident and the wages you are earning now. The wage–loss benefits can sometimes be much higher depending upon the factors involved in your specific case, such as vacation pay, the cost of health insurance, and other such factors. However, in cases, where the injuries last for less than seven days, no money is paid as part of these benefits. But, if the disability continues for longer than seven days, the payments will be calculated from the eighth day. Further, if the injury continues for longer than 14 days, the payments will be calculated right from the very first day of the injury. The injured worker must receive the wage-loss payments for as long as the disability continues; if it is a permanent disability, the worker must be paid for his or her lifetime.

Medical Benefits

Michigan workers compensation laws also have provisions for medical benefits for injured workers. As per the occupational injury compensation program, the employee must receive payments for all necessary medical expenses, which can include nursing care, dental care, hospital services, and even cost associated with medical equipment, such as wheelchairs or crutches.

Choice Of Doctor

Your employer has the right to make the initial choice of doctor for your treatment, usually for the first ten days at least. After ten days, the employee has an option to switch to another doctor. If you do not want the treatment under the doctor chosen by your employer, not even for the first 10 days, you are free to refuse, but in that case, you will only be risking the loss of continued benefits.

For more information about the Michigan workers compensation laws, you can contact the Workers’ Compensation Agency at 7150 Harris Drive, P.O. Box 30016, Lansing, MI 48909. You can contact the agency at 517-322-1438.