Returning to work after an on-the-job injury

Michigan workers compensation lawyer explains the concept of “favored work” and how your wage loss benefits can be affected.

Many people want to know how a return to work will affect their workers compensation benefits. Here is some information that we tell our clients.

One of the primary goals of the workers compensation system is to get you back to work after an injury. To this end, your employer is relieved of paying wage loss benefits if they offer a job within your restrictions.

This is called “favored work” or “reasonable employment.”  The job must be within your ability to perform and should not pose a threat to your health and safety. It must also be within a reasonable distance from your home.

You must accept an offer of favored work or wage loss benefits will be forfeited. If you are making less money, workers compensation should pay the difference.

If you stop working because of your injury

You are entitled to full weekly wage loss benefits if you have been employed on favored work for less than 100 weeks and lose your job through no fault of your own.

You can also receive wage loss benefits if you have been employed on favored work for more than 100 weeks but less than 250 weeks. The amount of wage loss benefits will depend upon whether you have a new wage earning capacity.

Not currently working but only partially disabled

Recent changes to the workers compensation law allow an employer or insurance company to reduce wage loss benefits if you are only partially disabled. You will be considered partially disabled if you have a wage earning capacity. This means that you have the ability to work and earn wages in other employment.

You should not confuse favored work with partial disability. They are two separate issues. Your employer does not need to offer you a job to cut your wage loss benefits. Your employer only needs to determine that you can work somewhere else. This is an unfair change in the workers compensation law and removes the major incentive that your employer has to bring you back to work.

When you should call a workers compensation lawyer

Many employers will offer you a job and then ignore your restrictions. You might find that you are in pain and need to stop work completely.

You should call an experienced workers compensation lawyer whenever you have an injury at work. This is especially true if your employer has offered you favored work or cut your wage loss benefits.

To speak with one of our workers compensation lawyers, call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation. We will fight to make sure that your legal rights are protected.

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: Warning! New work comp law reduces benefits for injured workers in Michigan

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02/01/2012
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