Michigan lawyer explains how law enforcement personnel have special rights after getting hurt on-the-job and can select either work injury benefits or “like benefits.”
We have represented law enforcement officers over the last 25+ years. They are some of the hardest working people and sitting around the house is not their preferred option. Our experience has been they go to work hurt and only stop when they physically or mentally cannot perform job duties. Here is some information about police workers’ comp benefits In Michigan that every cop should know about.
Michigan law protects law enforcement officers who are hurt in the course and scope of employment. It does not matter if they are chasing a suspect or just filing routine paperwork when it happens. Available police workers’ comp benefits include money for lost wages, medical care, and vocational rehabilitation.
Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in the number of officers who have their police workers’ comp benefits disputed. They also have problems with their departments not honoring work restrictions or authorizing needed medical treatment.
Municipalities and villages do not always do right by their law enforcement officers. It is common to see third-party administrators calling the shots and finding ways to dispute work injury insurance benefits. It can be tempting to give up and just accept whatever money is offered.
Police workers’ comp benefits
Cops who cannot work because of an on-the-job injury are entitled to lost wages. The amount paid in Michigan under the work injury law should equal 80% of their after-tax average weekly wage subject to a state-wide maximum. This calculation should include money for overtime, discontinued fringe benefits, and even second jobs.
Medical treatment should also be covered 100% without any copayments or deductibles being owed. This is an unlimited benefit and the work injury insurance system should pay for life.
Some cops suffer career ending injuries. It is not easy switching to a new job and vocational rehabilitation can make the process easier. This money can be used for education and/or re-training.
Like benefits instead of police workers’ comp benefits
Some municipalities and villages give law enforcement more benefits than what police workers’ comp benefits pays. This could come in the form of 100% salary continuation or through a duty disability pension.
Law enforcement officers are allowed to opt out of the work injury insurance system and accept “like benefits.” This only applies to cops who are employed by municipalities and villages who offer it. This means they give up their work injury benefits in exchange for a duty disability pension. It does not have to be identical in value to qualify.
Figuring out whether to accept like benefits in lieu of work injury insurance benefits can be difficult. It is important to explore all the available options before making your choice. Once an election of like benefits is made, it cannot be changed. It is also possible to get work injury insurance benefits for medical treatment not otherwise provided under a duty disability pension. Call an experienced work injury lawyer to find out the best option.
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.