Top 3 Workers Comp Questions – 2011 Edition

Michigan work injury lawyer breaks down the top questions that people want to know about their workers comp benefits.

Here are the most common questions about workers comp that we have been asked during the year. We expect that changes to the workers comp law will make these questions even more popular in 2012.

1. How much should I be receiving from workers comp?

You should receive 80% of the after-tax value of your average weekly wage. This usually works out to be approximately 60% of your gross pay.

How the math works: Add up the highest 39 paid weeks in the last 52. Divide this number by 39 to get your average weekly wage. Plug your average weekly wage into the tables provided by the State of Michigan taking into consideration your tax filing status and number of dependents. This amount will be your weekly workers comp rate. You will be limited to a maximum of $742.00 per week.

Because of recent changes to the workers comp law, this calculation could be much different in 2012. If you are found to be only partially disabled, you will need to consider your wage earning capacity and adjust your weekly workers comp rate accordingly. Your wage earning capacity is the amount the insurance company believes you could earn in other employment.

2. Can I select my own doctor for treatment under workers comp?

You can choose your own doctor after 10 days from the start of medical treatment. You should always treat with your own doctor to avoid a potential conflict of interest. If your workers comp benefits are ever disputed, you will need a doctor who will be on your side.

Proposed changes to the workers comp law will extend the time your employer has to select your medical providers. You will have to wait up to 28 days to see your own doctor or get a second opinion.

3. Are there any additional benefits under workers comp?

There are several additional benefits that your employer and its insurance company will not tell you about. Here is some information about your legal rights.

You have the right to mileage while traveling to and from medical appointments. Keep a travel log and submit it to the insurance company for payment. The current travel reimbursement rate is $0.55 per mile. You can even get meals and hotel accommodations if you must travel far.

You have the right to home nursing care or attendant care if ordered by your doctor. Family members can get paid up to 56 hours per week for helping you with activities of daily living. They should be paid the same hourly rate as a professional.

You can also receive vocational rehabilitation services to help you get retrained or to find another job within your restrictions. Make sure that any vocational counselor has your best interests at heart and is not just trying to cut your wage loss benefits. Watch out for the Stokes evaluation, labor market survey, or wage earning capacity assessment. This is not vocational rehabilitation and will be used against you!

We are here to help with your workers comp claim

Don’t wait until your benefits are stopped to speak with an experienced workers comp lawyer. We can help you avoid minor issues before they become major problems.

If your benefits are stopped or disputed, we will fight to make sure that your employer and its insurance company are held accountable for their actions.

Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation with our workers comp lawyers. We will make sure that you get all the workers comp benefits available under the law.

Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Alex has helped countless people obtain workers comp benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.

Related information:

Video: Injured at work? Advice from a Michigan workers comp lawyer

FAQs about workers compensation to help protect you

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