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Workers comp lawyer in Michigan explains how insurance companies use vocational information to stop the payment of wage loss benefits.

Have you been scheduled for a vocational assessment? Watch out because your workers comp benefits could be in danger!

Insurance companies can stop wage loss benefits if they believe a person can find another job. This is based upon wage earning capacity and it’s not fair.

Think of wage earning capacity as the amount of money that could be earned in another job. The problem is that it does not matter if this work is truly available.

Insurance company games

Michigan law requires the payment of wage loss benefits if you are disabled from work because of injury. The amount should equal 80% of the after-tax value of your average weekly wage. This works out to be approximately 60% of what you were earning before you got hurt. Not exactly a windfall.

Insurance companies hire vocational counselors to figure out a person’s wage earning capacity. A report will be prepared showing how much you could earn in alternate employment.  This is typically called an employability and wage earning capacity assessment. This vocational information will then be used to reduce or stop wage loss benefits.

Welcome to the real-world

One way to challenge an unfair vocational assessment is with a job search. If a person can demonstrate that no employer will hire them, this is a compelling argument for the continuing payment of lost wages.

The insurance company will counter by showing all the jobs that are allegedly available. The truth is many of the jobs are not real.

PBS recently ran a story about job hunting. “The fact that you see an advertisement on an online list serve or job board does not mean there’s an actual job behind it, in many instances it’s a company just trying to get more information for its databases.”

How to get help

You should always challenge an unfair decision from the insurance company. You will have the opportunity to present your own vocational evidence. This includes proof of a job search.

Don’t count on the insurance company to do the right thing. If you are scheduled for a vocational assessment, get help immediately.

To speak with one of our workers comp lawyers in Michigan, call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation.

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:

Injured at work? Advice from a Michigan workers comp lawyer

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, photologue_np.

10/01/2012
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