When someone suffers an injury on the job, it can have tragic and unforeseen consequences. Aside from needing money for hospital bills, workers can also struggle with rehabilitation costs, as well as other issues related to their inability to earn wages. In order to address this, Michigan has a workers’ compensation system that is specifically designed to help workers replace lost wages and pay for any costs related to their injury. If you think that you or someone you know may qualify for workers’ compensation, it’s worth understanding the basics of the system, as well as how it is specifically handled in Michigan.
Who Pays for Workers’ Compensation?
By law, Michigan requires all employers to arrange for workers’ compensation benefits by paying into a commercial insurance carrier. Alternatively, businesses can also apply for a state recognized self-insured status, which simply means that they will directly cover any costs associated with worker injuries.
Although the worker is entitled to a number of benefits, it’s worth noting that they are limited. Under the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act, a worker can only earn benefits that make up for lost wages up to a certain cap, which is adjusted annually. In addition, a worker is entitled to up to 104 weeks of vocational rehabilitation, and medical reimbursements up to a certain limit, as defined by cost containment rules.
How is Workers’ Compensation Paid?
Once a worker is aware of an injury that took place while they were on the job, they should immediately contact their employer. For the first 28 days, the employee will be required to see the healthcare physician of the employer’s choice. After this period has ended, the employee may then choose to switch healthcare providers, but they must notify the employer of their decision if they do so.
Medical payments are then typically made by the employer directly, with any other benefits awarded to the worker paid by either the employer or the employer’s insurance company. Although the value of any wage-based benefit can vary, it is roughly 80% of the employee’s after-tax wage value. Depending on the severity of injuries sustained, a worker could potentially be entitled up to a lifetime of medical and wage loss benefits.
How to Appeal a Workers’ Compensation Case
Although workers’ compensation cases are typically resolved without any issue, a claim can be filed if the employer or insurance company refuses to pay for an employee’s injury. Of course, in this situation, it would be a good idea to seek out legal representation before continuing further.
When appealing your workers’ compensation claim, you should be sure to have adequate legal representation. Michigan Legal Center houses experienced workers’ compensation attorneys who can help you gain access to the funds entitled to you by law. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.