Michigan lawyer explains average weekly wage and how does workers’ comp pay you.
Getting hurt on-the-job can turn a person’s life upside down. This is especially true for those families living paycheck-to-paycheck. Workers’ comp is a safety net and supposed to help disabled employees pay the bills. It does not matter who was at fault for the work accident. Guaranteed benefits include medical treatment and lost wages.
How much does workers’ comp pay you in Michigan?
Disabled employees are supposed to get 80% of their after-tax average weekly wage subject to a state-wide maximum. This is based upon the highest 39 paid weeks during the 52 weeks before getting hurt. Overtime, discontinued fringe benefits, and even second jobs should be included. Money paid is tax free.
Workers’ comp is supposed to pay disabled employees weekly checks in the mail. It is possible to arrange for direct deposit, but written consent must be given. Funds will be directly deposited in a financial institution or put on a debit card.
Watch out for insurance companies who simply estimate the weekly rate. This error can result in much less being paid. We have seen disabled employees get hundreds of dollars less per week than what is required under Michigan law. Actual wage records from the employer should be used.
Insurance companies also use vocational experts to say a disabled employee has a post-injury wage earning capacity (PIWEC) and reduce weekly checks. This is based upon “phantom wages” from jobs that might not even exist. It is important to speak with a workers’ comp lawyer if this should occur.
How long do they have to pay you in Michigan?
Michigan is considered a “wage loss” state. This means workers’ comp will pay you weekly checks for as long as a person cannot work. A good-faith job search is required to qualify for continuing wage loss benefits. Weekly checks can be reduced when a person reaches age 65 or begins getting Social Security retirement benefits.
Weekly checks can be reduced by 5% each year starting at age 65. This continues until age 75 when a 50% reduction has been reached. In the alternative, 50% of a person’s Social Security retirement benefit can be used as an offset.
Insurance companies usually select whatever method results in the least amount of benefits paid. Watch out for insurance companies who attempt to use both the age 65 reduction and the Social Security monthly offset. Only 1 method can be used at a time.
It is important to consult with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer whenever a question arises regarding payment. Insurance companies makes mistakes and they are never in your favor. Attorney fees are only paid if additional benefits or a settlement is obtained.
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.