Michigan workers compensation attorney explains the maximum weekly rate and how to calculate your 2013 wage loss benefits.
Many people assume entitlement to full pay if they cannot work because of an injury. This is not correct and causes much confusion.
Lost wages are limited to a maximum of 90% of the state average weekly wage. This amount is $798.00 per week for 2013.
This can be devastating for high wage earners who are faced with a substantial reduction in income. Here is some information about lost wages under workers compensation that you should know about.
How you calculate your lost wages
You are entitled to 80% of your after-tax average weekly wage. This comes out to be about 60% of gross pay. You should receive these benefits on a weekly basis for as long as you are disabled from work.
Here is how the math works: Take the highest 39 paid weeks in the 52 weeks before your injury. Add these weeks together and divide by 39 to get your average weekly wage. Remember to include overtime and premium pay for each week.
Plug your average weekly wage into tables provided by the State of Michigan. This will show your weekly rate. You must know your tax filing status and number of dependents to get the correct amount.
Lost wages under workers compensation are tax free. Remember that the maximum is still $798.00 per week for 2013.
Lost wages can be reduced even further if the insurance company thinks you can work and are only partially disabled. You will be sent to a vocational expert for an employability & wage earning capacity analysis.
You will be asked about your background and job search efforts. The vocational expert will then review medical records, perform a transferable skills analysis, and give an opinion about whether you can find another job.
The vocational expert is hired by the insurance company with a specific agenda. The goal is to cut the amount of lost wages that need to be paid. You may even be told a job exists when it does not.
How to get help
Dont let your employer or its insurance company play games with your life. Call an experienced workers compensation attorney if your benefits have been reduced or stopped.
Even if you are getting full benefits, it is a good idea to make sure that you are getting the correct amount. Insurance companies frequently make mistakes and they are never in your favor.
To speak with one of our workers compensation attorneys in Michigan, call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation. There is never a fee unless you are successful with your case.
– Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. 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 evaluate a case.
– Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by AMagill.