Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – 2014 Edition

Our list of the most frequently asked questions and answers when someone first calls our office.

Most people never consider what happens if they are hurt at work. The idea of having to file a workers comp claim is overwhelming. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers that new callers want to know.

Q. How do I file for workers comp?

A. Tell your employer within 90 days of injury and ask for benefits within 2 years. It is the responsibility of your employer to contact the insurance company and make a claim. If your employer refuses to cooperate, file an Employee’s Report of Claim (Form WC-117) with the State of Michigan. Notification will be sent to both the employer and its insurance company.

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Hotels, Meals, and Mileage

Travel reimbursement rates under workers compensation in Michigan.

Some of our clients must travel far distances for their medical treatment. Reimbursement for lodging, meals, and mileage should be provided under workers compensation.

Here are the current rates effective January 1, 2014.

Mileage (per mile): $0.56
Lodging (per day): $75.00 plus taxes
Breakfast: $7.25, $8.75*
Lunch: $7.25, $8.75*
Dinner: $16.50, $21.00*

*Select cities (All of Wayne County, All of Oakland County, Ann Arbor, Auburn Hills, Detroit, Holland, Mackinac Island, Pontiac, South Haven)

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New Fall TV Schedule

Our tongue-in-cheek look at new TV shows premiering this fall.

We are excited that new TV shows have started premiering. It’s nice to escape reality and just be entertained for a couple hours.

We also believe that laugher is the best medicine. Here is our tongue-in-cheek list of TV shows that we want to see on the fall schedule.

1. “Married With No Income”

The story of a disabled man who tries to support his family after being cut-off by the insurance company.

2. “Snyder”

A comedy about giving tax breaks to millionaires while cutting workers’ compensation benefits.

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Why is the insurance company denying my claim?

Insight into the mind of employers and insurance companies who dispute workers compensation claims.

We represent nice people who get treated poorly by employers and insurance companies. It is easy to become cynical and just blame it on greed.

This is especially true when looking at statistics published by the State of Michigan. Some insurance companies dispute claims at rate four times the state-wide average.

There are always two sides to every story. Here are 3 ways that employers and insurance companies see disputed claims differently.

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Vote in the 2014 election!

Changes to workers’ compensation show why elections are important.

The AFL-CIO  recently posted 5 Reasons Why Rick Snyder Is One of the Worst Candidates for Working Families in the 2014 Elections. Reason No. 2 includes cutting workers’ compensation.

We are glad this issue is finally getting some attention. Here are some ways that workers’ compensation has changed under Rick Snyder.

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Minimum Wage Hike Takes Effect

Minimum wage increase a step in the right direction but is it enough?

Michigan’s minimum wage increase took effect on September 1, 2014. It is now set at $8.15 up from $7.40.  The rate will continue increasing by 25% each year until 2018 when it reaches $9.25. Future increases will be linked to the rate of inflation in other Midwestern states.

This comes on the heels of a national movement to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10. Fast food workers across the United States have been fighting for a $15.00 per hour wage.

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Michigan Super Lawyers 2014

Alex Berman and Jeffrey Kaufman named to Super Lawyers for 2014.

Our law firm is pleased to announce that Alex Berman has been named a Super Lawyer for 2014. This honor is given to no more than 5% of attorneys in each state. Super Lawyers uses a multiphase selection process, including nominations, independent research, and peer evaluations.

Jeffrey Kaufman has also been selected to the 2014 Michigan Rising Stars List. While up to 5% of the lawyers in the state are named to Super Lawyers, no more than 2.5% are named to the Rising Stars list. Candidates must be either 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less.

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Sports injury covered under workers compensation?

Social and recreational activities are covered under workers compensation in Michigan if required as part of your job duties.

Every few weeks something related to workers compensation makes the national news. It’s always eye-catching headlines and sensationalist journalism. Real problems such as employee misclassification and premium fraud are rarely investigated.

The latest story from ABC News follows a South Carolina man who was awarded workers compensation benefits after sustaining an injury playing kickball at a company event. Apparently, he was required to organize the game as a team-building exercise for employees. He shattered two bones in his leg and underwent two surgeries.

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3D printed vertebra implant used in China

Medical advances are giving people with spinal injuries hope and the future of workers compensation.

Engadget has a fascinating story about a 12-year-old boy who received a 3D printed vertebra implant. It is made from titanium powder and designed to mimic the shape of the original vertebra. Small holes allow natural bone grow inside and it does not need cement or screws to stay in place. This could be a breakthrough in the field of 3D printed bones.

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Celebrating Labor Day 2014

Holiday weekend should be a reminder of the importance of organized labor and what you can do to support union membership.

Our law firm will be closed on September 1, 2014 in observance of Labor Day. This federal holiday is held on the first Monday in September and is dedicated to American workers.

Labor Day is also the unofficial last day of summer. It gives families a chance to spend time together enjoying late summer weather.

We hope that you take sometime this weekend to reflect on the contributions of the labor movement and how American workers built this great nation. This is especially important now that right-to-work legislation has been passed in our state.

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