Michigan workers compensation lawyer explains wage loss and the age 65 reduction.
We want you to know that your wage loss benefits can be cut under workers compensation just because you turned 65. Understand the law so you can protect yourself and plan for the future.
Workers compensation pays wage loss for as long as you are disabled and cannot work. The amount of wage loss is calculated by taking the highest 39 weeks of the 52 weeks before your injury to determine your average weekly wage. Your workers compensation rate will be 80% of your after-tax average weekly wage.
Your workers compensation rate is set at the time of your injury. The amount stays the same even if the economy changes, your job is eliminated, or your employer files bankruptcy. Wage loss can be paid for life subject to certain reductions.
Age 65 reduction and coordination
When an individual who is receiving wage loss under workers compensation reaches the age of 65, his or her weekly payments will be cut by 5% per year until age 75 for a total reduction of 50%. There is no additional reduction during the individual’s lifetime.
Your employer or its insurance carrier also has the option of coordinating 50% of your Social Security retirement benefit with your workers compensation wage loss. The age 65 reduction will not apply if your wage loss is being coordinated with your Social Security retirement benefit.
There is a difference between Social Security retirement benefits and Social Security disability benefits. Social Security Disability cannot be coordinated with workers compensation. However, Social Security will reduce your monthly benefit if your workers compensation and Social Security Disability benefits combine to exceed 80% of your average current earnings.
Don’t wait to protect your benefits
Coordination of workers compensation benefits can be complicated and you should always plan ahead. Don’t wait until you turn 65 to speak with an experienced workers compensation lawyer.
An experienced workers compensation lawyer can show you how to maximize your recovery from all sources. It is possible to settle a workers compensation claim for a lump sum to avoid any age reduction or offset.
To speak with one of our workers compensation lawyers, call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation. We represent clients throughout Michigan and will make sure that your legal rights are protected.
– Alex Berman is the founder of the law firm. Hes been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Alex has helped countless people obtain workers compensation benefits and never charges a fee to review a case.
– Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Leonid Mamchenkov.