I have a work injury! What do you mean I get no benefits?

Michigan workers compensation lawyer explains how you must have a wage loss to claim benefits.

Common sense is not always part of the workers compensation system. You could have the worst injury in the world and still get no payment for lost wages. This is because Michigan is considered a wage loss state.

The payment of benefits is triggered not by injury but by wage loss. This means that if you are able to work and earn maximum wages, then you have no claim. Even if you can’t do your job anymore.

Recent amendments to the workers compensation law allow insurance companies to reduce or stop the payment of benefits based upon imaginary jobs.

Do the math yourself

Workers compensation is based upon your average weekly wage before injury. You can calculate this amount by adding together the highest 39 paid weeks in the last 52. Divide this number by 39 to get your average weekly wage amount. Remember that overtime and premium pay should be included.

Once you have figured out your average weekly wage, you can easily convert this to a weekly comp rate. This should be approximately 80% of the after-tax value of your average weekly wage. Use tables published by the State of Michigan to calculate this amount. You will need to know your tax filing status and number of dependents.

If it is determined that you are only partially disabled and can work somewhere else, then your wage earning capacity can be used to reduce benefits. This is when the insurance company says you can work even though you can’t find a job.

Specific loss benefits

Michigan law also provides a schedule for a specific loss of a body part. For example, if you lose your hand in a work accident, then you should be paid 215 weeks of benefits regardless of whether you can work or not.

Some insurance companies will tell you that a specific loss is all you get. This is not correct! You can receive additional benefits if you have a wage loss after the specific loss period ends. These benefits could be paid for your lifetime.

Why you need help

It is very important to speak with an experienced workers compensation lawyer whenever you have an injury at work. Many times the amount paid by the insurance company is wrong. This is not an accident and mistakes are never in your favor.

Call (855) 221-2667 to speak with one of our workers compensation lawyers in Michigan. We will fight to make sure that you receive all the workers compensation benefits that you deserve.

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 compensation benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.

Related information:

(Free Book) Injured On The Job: A Guide to Michigan Workers’ Compensation Law

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by danielmoyle.

08/01/2012
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