Workers' Compensation Lawyers

What is the Amount of Michigan’s Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

If you are interested in learning about Michigan’scompensation for work-related injury or illness you have come to the right place.

In the state of Michigan workers’ compensation system provides benefits for eligible employees suffering from work-related illnesses and injuries resulting in: lost wages, temporary disability, permanent disability, and more. Let’s look into the calculations of Michigan’s workers’ comp benefits, as well as the those you may qualify for.

Michigan’s COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation

Have you ever wondered you may qualify to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Michigan? Many employees are curious as to whether benefitsextend to loss of wages due to the contraction of COVID-19. Although Michigan’s workers’ comp covers a variety of illnesses caused by the peculiar conditions of your employer, it doesn’t not cover anything considered an “ordinary disease of life” such as COVID-19.

Regarding the qualifications of specific first responders and healthcare workers, however, Michigan looked to simplify the process. Governor Whitmer signed emergency rules back in October 2020, which effectively permitted workers’ comp for first response employees who tested positive or were diagnosed with COVID-19 after March 18, 2020. Unless your employer is capable of proving otherwise, the state of Michigan would presume you were effected by a work-related injury. Qualifying employees included doctors, nurses respiratory therapists, hospice nurses, nursing home employees, firefighters, home healthcare workers, correctional officers, EMTs, police officers, and more.

Governor Whitmer’s emergency rules were in full effect until March 20, 2021, thereby replacing protections of a similar nature under the previous order. This law did become ineffective once the state’s Supreme Court ruling concluded that the Governor acted in an unconstitutional manner in regard to emergency powers.

Lost Wage Benefits

If you experienced lost wages as a direct result of a work-related injury or illness, you may qualify for benefits. In the state of Michigan, for example, a qualifying disability includes anything that limits your capacity to earn wages in a position that is suitable for your training, qualifications, and more. These benefits begin after you have been unable to work for seven consecutive days.

However, if your disability lasts beyond a 14 day period, you will receive retroactive benefits to cover your initial unpaid seven days. As long as your “wage earning capacity” remains reduced due to your disability, you may continue to receive benefits, unless you receive a reasonable offer toward a position of employment.

How Does Michigan Calculate Wage-Loss Benefits?

Individuals who are incapable of working are entitled to benefits, such as wage loss benefits. Typically, an injured employee can receive up to 80% of the after-tax value of their pre-injury wages. These benefits are capped depending on the severity of your injury, where it took place, or when you were hurt. For example, injuries that occurred in 2020 receive a max wage loss benefit of $934/week. Learn more about said benefits by visiting Michigan State Average Weekly Wage Chart.

In the event you are able to return to work, albeit in a limited capacity, you may qualify for up to 80% of the difference between your current earnings and pre-injury wages. If you brought home $750 after taxes each week, and that further decreases to $400, your benefits of 80% of the difference ($350) would be $280. You can use this online calculation tool provided as a courtesy by the Michigan Workers’ Disability Compensation Agency can help you determine the exact amount of your expected wage-loss benefit amount, should you qualify.

How Does Workers’ Comp Calculate Limits to My Wage-Earning Capacity?

Your “wage earning capacity” is defined by the Michigan workers’ comp law according to the potential earnings at a new, reasonable position, compared to that of your current earnings. This job must be currently available, and suited to your overall experience, training, skills, and education.

The state of Michigan calculates your wage-loss benefits based off of a reduction in actual earnings. Say your employer provided modified work, because your doctor has released you to work with restrictions (such as limits on weight lifted, etc.), and you made good-faith effort to find another job, you might qualify for wage-loss benefits in the full amount. If you haven’t looked for another job, or refused to accept your employer’s modified work, the offered benefits will be significantly lower, if you’re offered any at all.

Benefits for Specific-Losses

If you have suffered with reduced function or total loss of a limb, eye, toes, fingers, or more, you may receive benefits known as “specific loss benefits”. This generally equals up to 80% of after-tax weekly wages for a set number of days – depending on the body part in question.

Suffering employees will continue receiving benefits for a specified window, regardless of whether they’re able to continue working. If you continue receiving wage loss after specific loss benefits run dry, you might receive wage-loss benefits instead.

Total and Permanent Disability Benefits

Certain candidates will qualify for total and permanent disability benefits in the event a work-related injury or illness lead to complete blindness, the loss of two or more limbs, the complete loss of two or more limbs, an incurable mental illness, and more.

The rate utilized for total and permanent disability benefits begin at the same utilized for total incapacity wage loss. If you have received the maximum amount, however, you will be able to utilize the increases and maximum rates rather than suffer with a cap put into effect at the initial point of injury. You will be entitled to a minimum payment, as well, with workers’ comp benefits that are in no way offset by other various benefits (pension, short-term disability, etc.).

For the first 800 weeks of your benefits, you will be considered a totally and permanently disabled employee by Michigan workers’ comp. Whether or not you are actually working, if you begin earning wages, your benefits may stop or reduce after 800 weeks.

Additional Workers’ Comp Benefits of Michigan

The workers’ compensation of the state of Michigan provides a variety of benefits, such as:

  • Medical Treatment
    Any medical care that is considered or deemed necessary and reasonable in order to treat your injury or illness will be covered by Michigan’s workers’ comp. This includes medical rehab services, and much more.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
    Did you know you are entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits? These might include minor improvements to your workstation, job-placement services, and even retraining.
  • Death Benefits & Burial Expenses
    Should an employee die as a direct result of a work-related illness or injury, surviving dependents may qualify for death benefits lasting 500 weeks or more, especially if dependents are involved. Benefits such as these are calculated at an 80% rate of the decedent’s rate of pay, after-taxes, before the injury or death occurred. Additionally, payments may include burial expenses up to $6,000.

Receive Assistance in Claiming Workers’ Comp Benefits

Once in a while, an injured employee will run into claim disputes via the employer’s insurance company. They may also provide benefits in an amount well below your expectations. By teaming up with a lawyer local to your Michigan town, you can rest assured in their field experience, and more. A vocational expert can help establish wage earning capacity and wage loss benefits in an appropriate manner.

Were you injured on the job? Feeling unsure of where to even begin? We are more than happy to help you along the way, from the initial benefits application to filing a claim to appeal a denial, we are prepared to help you receive the monetary benefits you deserve. Why wait? Please feel free to contact us, or schedule an appointment today.