Wage loss benefits are an important benefit under the Michigan workers compensation laws.
A worker who suffers on the job injury is normally entitled to eighty (80%) percent of the after-tax value of his other wage loss. This is the case whether the worker is “totally” or “partially” disabled.
The amount of the wage is calculated based upon the average weekly wage, which is the average weekly wage based upon the highest amount in the 39 of the last 52 weeks before the injury.
If the employee worked less than 39 weeks during the year before the injury, the wage loss amount is determined by dividing up total earnings by the number of weeks worked.
If a person returns to work at a lower rate of pay, the company must pay the wage difference from the higher rate to the current rate.
Michigan law provides that the maximum rate of wage benefits is 90 percent of the state average weekly wage for the year prior to the injury.
A worker cannot receive benefits higher than this amount regardless of how high his or her earnings might have been. There is general no minimum benefit except under most situations. Workers compensation wage benefits are only taxable certain unique circumstances.
There is no requirement to pay compensation for an injury which does not last for at least one week. Beyond one week, the worker is entitled to benefits as of the eighth day after the injury.
For a disability that continues for two weeks or more, the worker is entitled to be paid compensation for the first week of disability. Wage loss benefits continue as long as the worker is disabled and this can be for a lifetime. The amounts get reduced after the worker’s 65th birthday and again at age seventy-five.
Despite these requirements, employers and insurance companies often look for reasons to terminate, or cut off, an employee’s wage loss benefits. It can either be just the refusal to pay the benefits or termination of benefits based upon a company doctor or highly paid insurance medical examiner (IME) doctor.
When this happens, you should contact our Michigan workers’ compensation lawyers today at (800) 606-1717 to discuss your case and to see how we can help you get your medical bills paid and continue receiving the medical care that you need for your recovery.
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