Post Injury Wage Earning Capacity (PIWEC)

Workers Compensation Agency enters new era of “partial disability” with revised payment form and calculation program.

We have written a great deal about workers compensation reform and the bad effects it has had on our clients. The worst being partial disability based upon a person’s “wage earning capacity.”

Think of wage earning capacity as your ability to earn wages in another job. The problem is that the insurance company makes this calculation. It does not matter whether you are earning real wages or if you are having trouble finding a new job.

The insurance company wants to find that you can work somewhere else. This means wage loss benefits can be stopped and the insurance company can make more profit.

Agency response to changes in the law

The Agency has now revised its Notice of Compensation Payments form to include a rate adjustment for PIWEC. This form must be filled out whenever benefits are paid under workers compensation.

The Agency has also updated its calculation program to include a capability to deal with PIWEC.

While these administrative changes are necessary, we think insurance companies will now say that everyone is partially disabled. Welcome to the new normal!

Partial disability and workers compensation

We have already seen some ridiculous excuses from self-insured employers and insurance companies.

One local hospital refuses to bring our client back to work and has cut her benefits saying she could get hired somewhere else. Over 50 resumes later and still no job. In the meantime, our client suffers.

Another client had his wage loss benefits stopped because the insurance company says he can work in a job never performed before. The job listing requires two years of experience but the insurance company disregards this fact.

How our law firm can help

If your wage loss benefits have been reduced or stopped, this decision should be challenged in court. You can present evidence as to a job search to show that no work is available. You can also hire your own vocational expert to testify against the insurance company.

To speak with one of our workers compensation 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 review a case.

Related information:

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

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by photosteve101.

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