Getting Your Worker’s Comp: Lost Wage Benefits in Michigan

Ensuring you’re getting all the wages to which you’re entitled while recovering from a work-related injury is essential, no matter the industry.  However, many employers will not be forthcoming on all of the wage loss benefits available to you, in an effort to keep you from claiming them.  If any of the subjects of this list strike a red flag for you in regards to your current position, contact our top-rated workers comp attorneys today. We can make sure you’re being compensated fully for any wages you’re losing, as per Michigan state law.

Common Questions (And Answers) About Workers Comp Benefits

What are the worker’s comp benefits I can receive?

In the event you are injured due to and during your employment, you’re entitled to specific worker’s comp benefits such as lost wages, medical treatment, and vocational rehabilitation.  Worker’s comp, a compromise between the employer and employee, is a limited set of benefits that compensate the employee regardless of whether negligence was a factor. However, it’s not based off factors like pain and suffering, even as Michigan worker’s comp benefits can be substantial.

What constitutes lost wages?

Lost wages, a phrase to describe wage loss benefits, are a benefit of Michigan worker’s comp that employees are entitled in the case of an at-work injury. It supplies the employee with a modified amount of compensation (based off their wages) while they recover from the injury.

How can I know whether I’m receiving the right amount of lost wages?

Many people don’t realize that they’re receiving less than they should from their worker’s comp benefits. It’s important to check the math yourself, as when insurance companies make mistakes (as they frequently do), you’re significantly more likely to lose out on money than you are to receive too much.

How do I calculate my wage loss?

There are a few steps you should be taking in order to determine the proper amount of money you should be receiving. First, compute your average weekly wage. This averages the amount you made per week in the highest 39 weeks of the 52 weeks (one year) preceding the injury.  In case you’ve worked less than 39 weeks at this job, simply divide the amount you’ve earned in total by the amount of weeks you have worked.  Make sure to include all bonuses, premium pay, or overtime in the average weekly wage. It’s also in your best interest to include any discontinued fringe benefits (such as health insurance value) in your average weekly wage.  Finally, including a second job’s wages will greatly increase your average weekly wage, so make sure to include that as well (you’d have trouble finding an employer or insurance company who would advise you on that).

How much lost wages will I receive through workers compensation?

Generally, you’ll receive eighty (80) percent of your after-tax average weekly wage. Use the Michigan tax tables to determine this amount.  Among the information you need to enter, you’ll need to include your tax filing status and how many dependents you have. Generally, your weekly benefit rate will come to about sixty percent of your gross weekly income.  However, this is also based off state average weekly wages, as no worker can receive more than 90 percent of that wage. For example, in 2012 in Michigan this would be $775, based off the average weekly wage of $860.34.

What is my situation like if I’m considered only partially disabled?

In the case you’re found to be only partially disabled, and therefore have a wage earning capacity, you will likely lose many benefits under recent changes in Michigan. Due to the abuse potential here, it is highly recommended to contact an experienced worker’s comp lawyer in this case.

What does wage earning capacity mean, and what is its significance?

Wage earning capacity is basically your ability to work, given your injury. For your employers, the more capacity you have, the less benefits you should receive. As a result, insurance companies will try to prove you have a higher capacity than you do.

Can my lost wage benefits change?

While your benefits are fixed at the time of injury, preventing any changes due to economic or employment reasons, an employer or insurance company who deems you partially disabled will try to use a vocational rehabilitation counselor (hired by them) to see if you’re not eligible for less. It’s important you contact a worker’s comp lawyer if that occurs.

Are wage loss benefits taxed?

No, since they’re derived from after-taxed values of your wages.

What are the consequences of receiving the wrong wage loss rate?

If you suspect you’re receiving the wrong wage loss rate, contact an attorney for immediate help. This lawyer will be able to decide if you’re being paid fairly given your circumstances, and help you file a claim in case you are not.

Still Have Questions About Your Workers Compensation Claim?

If you suspect your worker’s comp benefits are not being properly disbursed to you, contact an experienced worker attorney today. They can help you fight to get the pay you deserve.  Call The Clark Law Office today at +1 (517) 347-6900.