Reading between the lines and other important details about workers compensation in Michigan.
Michigan businesses have been sent letters from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) regarding “freedom to work” laws that take effect on March 28, 2013. It includes an informational poster designed to tell employees about their new “rights” in Michigan.
This hyper-partisan union busting legislation is bad news for workers. We think it’s absurd that LARA would waste money sending this “optional” poster to employers.
But it did remind us that LARA also has an informational poster for workers compensation. Here is some extra information that you might not be told.
Attendant care is an important benefit that most people are simply not told about. Family members can get paid up to 56 hours per week to help you with activities of daily living. The hourly rate should be competitive just like if a professional needed to be hired.
Workers compensation should also pay for home and vehicle modifications. One of our clients was offered a new house that was wheelchair accessible.
You should also receive a mileage reimbursement every time you go to the doctor or another medical appointment.
Wage loss benefits
Workers compensation is supposed to pay 80% of your after-tax average weekly wage. This represents approximately 60% of gross pay.
Changes to the law permit the insurance company to find you only partially disabled. Weekly benefits can be reduced based upon your “wage earning capacity”. It does not matter if you are working or not.
You can ask for a hearing where a magistrate will determine that you are entitled to full weekly benefits.
Some insurance companies use vocational rehabilitation to stop benefits. If you are scheduled for assessment, get help from an attorney immediately. This is usually a red flag that your wage loss benefits will be reduced or stopped.
Many of our clients want to go back to school or get retrained for another career. Make sure the vocational counselor has your best interests at heart. You can ask for a hearing to determine what is appropriate and fair.
Free legal advice
Workers compensation can be confusing and the law is stacked against you. We recommend that you contact an attorney whenever an injury happens at work. It costs you nothing to find out your legal rights.
To speak with one of our workers compensation lawyers, call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation. You only pay a fee if you are successful with your case.
– Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. Hes been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Alex has helped countless people obtain workers compensation benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.