Lawyer answers frequently asked questions on who can qualify for workers’ compensation in Michigan
Many people ask our lawyers if they qualify for workers’ compensation in Michigan. Below is some information that can help you figure out whether this system will work for you.
To speak with one of our lawyers now, call (844) 345-0952. You can also fill out our contact form for a free consultation. The call and the advice are absolutely free.
Q. Who qualifies for workers’ compensation?
A. You must be an employee to qualify for workers’ compensation in Michigan. Some employers will attempt to classify you as an independent contractor to avoid paying any benefits.
Watch out for employers who try to have you sign an agreement that you are not an employee or that waive your rights.
You might also find yourself being paid with a Form 1099 instead of a W-2. This is not correct if you are an employee. You should be considered an employee if you work for pay and you do not maintain a separate business or hold yourself out to render the same services to the general public.
Q. What is covered if I qualify for workers’ compensation?
A. Any injury or illness arising in the course and scope of your employment is covered under the law. The system is designed to provide benefits regardless of fault. You qualify for workers’ compensation in Michigan by showing that you cannot work or that you need medical treatment.
You need only to provide proper notice and claim to receive benefits. Here are three steps to take after you have been hurt at work.
Q. What kind of injuries are covered?
A. Most injuries at work are caused by a sudden accident or a repetitive activity. Dropping a heavy box on your foot would be considered a sudden accident. Using your hands everyday would be considered a repetitive activity that can cause injury over time. Both of these types of injuries are covered.
Even old injuries and preexisting conditions can be covered.
Here’s some information on injuries that are commonly disputed and injuries that are not covered under the law.
Q. Can I receive lost wages?
A. If you qualify for workers’ compensation in Michigan and you seek to establish entitlement to wage loss benefits, you must demonstrate that a work-related injury has caused a reduction of your maximum wage-earning capacity.
This means that you must show how a work injury has stopped you from earning your full wages in work suitable to your qualifications and training.
You must also consider other jobs that would pay you wages. If you can only perform a less paying job because of your injury, the system should pay differential wage loss benefits.
Because of recent changes to the law, insurance companies are reducing lost wage benefits based upon your ability to work in another job. This is called your wage earning capacity. It does not matter if you are earning actual wages or not. This is not always fair and you should contact an experienced work injury lawyer if this occurs.
Q. Can I receive medical treatment?
A. If you qualify for workers’ compensation in Michigan then any reasonable and necessary medical treatment should be covered. You have the right to select your own doctor and pursue whatever medical treatment is appropriate. You cannot be forced to undergo surgery or any other invasive medical procedure. Here’s some helpful information on medical care and your lawsuit.
Q. What if I need help around the house?
A. If you qualify for workers’ compensation in Michigan and you need help with activities of daily living, you can receive attendant care benefits. This could include wound care, help with mobility, bathing, using the bathroom, eating, dressing and taking medications. Either a skilled nurse or attendant will be hired by the insurance company, or you can request to have your relatives perform up to 56 hours of attendant care per week at the same rate of pay. Attendant care benefits are also referred to as nursing services.
Q. What if I’m told my injury is not work-related?
A. Some employers and insurance companies will tell you that your injury is “not work related” or simply “part of the aging process.” Insurance companies will often disregard the facts surrounding your injury.
This is especially true if they see incidental findings of arthritis. Just because you have some arthritis does not mean that you did not suffer a legitimate injury. You should have an experienced work injury lawyer review your situation anytime you suffer an injury on the job. Call us at (844) 345-0952 for free advice now.
Q. Are preexisting conditions covered?
A. Preexisting conditions that are significantly aggravated by your employment can also be covered if you qualify for workers’ compensation in Michigan. This is true even if you have an old injury, whether work related or not.
These types of injuries are frequently disputed by employers and insurance companies. It’s in your best interest to seek legal representation if your claim is disputed or denied. You must have a doctor testify that the underlying preexisting pathology has changed because of your work injury.
Read about how a workers compensation attorney can help you.
Need help? Get a free consultation
To speak with a work injury lawyer now, call us at (844) 345-0952. We can explain all of your legal rights and answer your questions. You can also fill out our contact form for a free consultation.