Forced back to work after an injury

Michigan workers comp attorney explains why you should attempt a return to work if your employer offers a job within your medical restrictions

It is in your interest to get back to work as soon as possible after a work-related injury.  As an incentive for your employer to accommodate your medical restrictions, wage loss benefits do not have to be paid if you are offered “reasonable employment.” 

You must accept an offer of reasonable employment or risk having your wage loss benefits suspended.  The idea is that if you refuse an offer of reasonable employment, you are voluntarily removing yourself from the work force and not entitled to wage loss benefits.

What is reasonable employment under workers comp in Michigan

Reasonable employment is work within your capacity to perform that poses no danger to your health and safety, and that is within a reasonable distance from your home.  Reasonable employment is not limited to jobs within your qualifications and training.

Refusal is not a permanent bar to getting wage loss benefits in Michigan

Once you make yourself available for reasonable employment, your entitlement to wage loss benefits resumes.  However, you cannot recover wage loss benefits for any period of time that you previously refused.

The games employers and insurance companies play

Some employers will offer you a job that is not exactly within your medical restrictions.  Some employers will offer you a job that is humiliating like sitting in a chair and watching an empty parking lot.  Employers make these offers with the hope that you will not show up for work and forfeit your wage loss benefits.

What is good cause to refuse an offer of work in Michigan

Your employer must offer you a specific job with defined duties.  It is not enough to tell you to come in and try something easy.  You should be given a specific job, location, and rate of pay.  If the job pays less, you are entitled to wage loss benefits under workers comp to make up the difference.

You may have good cause to refuse a job offer if it is beyond your medical restrictions or far from your home.

Always attempt any job that is offered by your employer

You should always try a job offered by your employer to avoid having your wage loss benefits suspended.  Tell your employer immediately if you cannot perform the job because of your injury and report any medical complications to your doctor.  Beware the employer who tells you to just work in pain.

To speak with an experienced workers compensation attorney, call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation. We will make sure that your legal rights and dignity are protected.

Alex Berman is the founder of the law firm. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 30 years.  Alex has helped countless people obtain workers compensation benefits and never charges a fee to review a case.

Related Information:

Have your workers compensation benefits been denied or terminated?

How insurance companies use IME doctors to abuse the workers comp system

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Megan Soh.

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