Michigan lawyer explains workers’ comp check rules and how to protect legal rights.
We understand how stressful injury claims from being injured on the job can be for some disabled employees. Many of the people who contact our office have no idea about their legal rights or what is happening with their claim. Insurance companies take advantage of this lack of knowledge and play games with benefits. Here are some workers’ comp check rules that every disabled employee needs to know.
Michigan laws are supposed to protect disabled employees who are hurt on-the-job. It does not matter who was at fault for the accident. Automatic benefits include payment of medical bills, vocational rehabilitation, and lost wages.
Workers’ comp check rules in regards to amounts paid for lost wages
The amount paid for lost wages should equal 80% of an employee’s after-tax average weekly wage. This is based upon the highest 39 paid weeks during the 52 weeks before the accident happened. A good rule of thumb is the amount paid should be approximately 60% of gross wages. Overtime, bonuses, and discontinued fringe benefits should also be included.
Lost wages are supposed to be paid weekly and continue for the entire length of disability. Offsets come into play if a disabled employee returns to a lesser paying job, reaches the age of 65, takes a pension, or starts getting retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration. Insurance companies can also use post-injury wage earning capacity (PIWEC) to reduce or stop weekly benefits.
What if my payment arrives late?
Watch out for late or missing checks. If your payment is late then it is a sign that wage loss benefits might soon be cut-off. Make sure to call an experienced lawyer who knows the workers’ comp check rules extensively if the amount paid is suddenly reduced or stopped.
When will I receive my payment?
In Michigan, the workers’ comp check rules state that an employee must be disabled for at least 1 week before payment for lost wages is owed. This includes weekends and holidays. Missing 2 weeks or more should result in payment going back to the first day.
Disabled employees can expect payment approximately 2 weeks from the start of entitlement. Payments are not considered late until 30 days past due. It is possible to seek $50 per day penalties for late or missing payments up to a maximum of $1,500.
How are lost wage payments made?
Most disabled employees receive their lost wages by paper check. It is sent by regular mail and typically comes on the same day each week. Do not get concerned if the day of the week changes. Insurance adjusters are sometimes required to manually reauthorize payment, and this can mix things up.
Workers’ comp check rules also permit electronic delivery of lost wages. This requires written consent from the disabled employee. Payments must be directly deposited in a financial institution or put on a debit card. We do not recommend electronic delivery because it can be harder to resolve issues.
Where can I cash my check?
Any financial institution where you already have an established business relationship should be able to cash a check. Sometimes the issuing bank itself will cash the check for a small fee. Individuals who do not have a bank account can also use a check cashing business. Walmart provides this service in Michigan. Photo identification and verification is usually required. Watch out for high fees when using a check cashing business and shop around to get the best deal.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.