Michigan workers’ comp lawyer explains how age can impact the value of a settlement.
Many of our clients have been on workers’ comp for years and it can be a miserable experience. Nobody wants to have their life under a microscope wondering if the insurance company is following them. They are constantly worried about getting cut-off. Settlement is an attractive option because it allows them to be free, but Michigan clients ask us often does age affect a workers comp settlement? Yes, when a person turns 65 or gets Social Security retirement benefits.
Settlement money can be used for any purpose including medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, starting a business, paying off debt, or retirement. In Michigan, age can affect a workers’ comp settlement if the insurance company believes that a person is not looking for work and is effectively retired. Timing is everything so make sure to negotiate a settlement before wage loss benefits run out.
Does age affect a workers’ comp settlement in Michigan?
In Michigan, age can affect a workers’ comp settlement because it consists of the amount of money anticipated to be paid in the future for medical treatment and wage loss benefits. Once an injured worker reaches age 65, his or her wage loss payments will begin to be reduced. The amount is 5% each year until it reaches a maximum of 50% at age 75. Payments should not be reduced further so be cautious of insurance companies who try to double dip using some other method.
It is also important to know that there can also be a reduction for Social Security. Insurance companies can use Social Security retirement benefits as an offset and they are permitted to reduce payments based upon 50% of what a person gets from SSA each month. Individuals who were already getting Social Security retirement benefits when they were hurt cannot have their wage loss benefits reduced by more than 50% of the amount otherwise payable. This offset does not apply to Social Security disability benefits. This offset cannot be combined with an age 65 offset.
To recap, in Michigan, age does affect a workers’ comp settlement as the amount paid is based upon how much the insurance company has to pay in wage loss benefits. This amount can be reduced when a person turns 65 or starts receiving Social Security retirement benefits.
Another way age can affect a workers’ comp settlement in Michigan is that insurance companies also look at age to see if someone is still in the workforce. A person cannot “retire” and still expect to be paid wage loss benefits. So if the insurance company thinks a person has removed themselves from the labor market then this can have an impact on the amount offered.
We strongly recommend speaking with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer before entering into settlement negotiations with the insurance company. Timing is everything and understanding your legal rights can make all the difference. There is no attorney fee unless a settlement or additional workers’ comp benefits are obtained.
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If you were injured on the job in Michigan and are questioning your workers’ comp settlement offer and are not sure if your age is affecting the amount, call now speak with an experienced lawyer, or fill out our contact form for a free consultation. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. We’re here for you.
Our attorneys have been exclusively helping injured workers in Michigan for more than 35 years. Our attorneys can help you better understand Michigan workers’ comp 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.
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.