Michigan work injury lawyer discusses how long a person can get medical treatment and wage loss benefits.
Our job as Michigan workers’ comp lawyers is to protect clients for as long as they need medical treatment and/or wage loss benefits. This is sometimes a challenge when offsets for age and retirement automatically occur. Insurance companies also dispute claims when they believe it is dragging on for too long. A person who has been injured on the job in Michigan can get these benefits for as long as they are needed. Here is why planning for the future is the key to maximize what is paid.
Many of our Michigan clients want to know: How long can you stay on workers’ comp? This is completely normal because a workplace accident can prevent them from returning to their regular jobs. It might even result in an early retirement. Having a plan in place is the key to getting back to a more normal life. Here are some issues to think about when planning for the future.
How long can you stay on workers’ comp in Michigan?
According to Michigan law, a person can stay on workers’ comp for their entire lifetime. Medical treatment should be covered indefinitely provided it is reasonable, necessary, and related. Wage loss benefits are paid so long as a person remains disabled and is actively in the workforce. Offsets for age and retirement reduce what is paid.
Medical treatment is considered a lifetime benefit and it covers any treatment that is reasonable, necessary, and related to the workplace accident. Watch out for insurance companies who use defense medical examiners to say that no additional medical treatment is needed. It is possible to challenge any dispute and have a magistrate decide what medical treatment should be approved or denied.
In Michigan, individuals who are considered disabled by their doctor are entitled to workers’ comp wage loss benefits. The amount paid should equal 80% of their after-tax average weekly wage subject to a state-wide maximum. Items like overtime, discontinued fringe benefits, and even second jobs that cannot be performed anymore should be included in this calculation.
Payments should continue for the entire period of disability. A 5% offset occurs each year when a person reaches age 65 for a maximum reduction of 50%. The insurance company can decide to forgo the 5% age reduction and instead use half a person’s Social Security retirement benefits as an offset. Be cautious of any insurance company dispute based upon post-injury wage earning capacity (PIWEC) as these are rarely a fair assessment.
Retirement is supposed to be a reward for a lifetime of hard work. Unfortunately, it can be a financial nightmare for those who find it imposed upon them because of some disability. We recommend negotiating a Michigan workers’ comp settlement before a claim is disputed. This is when future benefits are traded for a lump sum cash payment. Money can be used for any purpose including medical treatment, job search efforts, and retirement.
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Our attorneys have been exclusively helping injured workers in Michigan for more than 35 years. Our attorneys can help you better understand Michigan work injury laws and what happens after someone has been hurt on the job. To see what our own clients have to say about the caring, compassion, and communication they received from us, you can read in their own words about their experience here on our testimonials page from clients we have helped.
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