Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who is entitled to worker's compensation benefits?
An employee who sustains an injury arising out of and in the course of his/her employment.
2. What type of benefits are included under the Workers' Compensation Act?
Benefits include wage loss, medical, vocational rehabilitation services. Death and specific loss benefits are also included in appropriate cases, and differential wage loss benefits, depending on the circumstances.
3. How are wage loss benefits calculated?
Wage loss benefits are determined by the employee's average weekly wage (AWW). The average weekly wage (AWW) is calculated by using the highest thirty-nine of the last fifty-two weeks of employment. Wage loss benefits are approximately 80% of the employees after-tax average weekly wage.
4. Is there a limit to medical benefits?
Medical benefits are potentially available for the lifetime of the injured worker.
5. Are other benefits received by an employee offset against worker's compensation benefits?
Yes, certain benefits can be offset against worker's compensation benefits, (i.e. MESC, old age Social Security [50%], pension and disability benefits).
6. When are worker's compensation payments due?
Payments are due and payable on the fourteenth day after the employer has notice and knowledge of an injury and the employee has missed seven or more consecutive days of work.
7. Is there a statute of limitations for worker's compensation benefits?
Michigan law has no specific statue of limitations, but there are notice and claim requirements. Notice should be given within ninety days of an injury, with claim made within two years of the injury. Lack of notice is not necessarily a defense for an employer.
8. How are attorney fees paid?
Employers usually pay an hourly fee to their attorney while attorneys representing an employee charge a contingent fee.
9. Are injuries that occur outside the state of Michigan covered under the Michigan Workers' Compensation Act?
They can be (if the contract of hire was made in Michigan or if you are a Michigan resident at the time of the injury).
10. Can a non-resident of Michigan apply for benefits under the Michigan Workers' Compensation Act?
If the injury occurs in Michigan the employee may apply for benefits. Benefits received from another state can be offset.
11. Is it necessary for an employer to obtain worker's compensation insurance?
Worker's compensation insurance is mandatory in Michigan. All employers covered by the Act must purchase insurance or obtain approval as a self-insured employer.
12. Who is an employer covered by the Act?
Usually any employer who regularly employs an employee for thirty-five or more hours per week.
13. What is a redemption?
A redemption is a settlement between the parties intended to be a full, final and complete resolution for all worker's compensation benefits owed now and into the future. A redemption must be approved by a magistrate at a hearing.
14. What is the procedure for disputes regarding worker's compensation benefits between an employee and an employer?
Any party can file a Petition to be heard by a magistrate at a Workers’ Compensation Agency. Petitions can be filed if wage loss benefits are not being paid, if one of the parties refuses to cooperate with vocational rehabilitation, or if the employee does not return to restricted work offered by the employer.
15. What is restricted work?
Restricted work is work offered by the employer that is within the employees’ limitations.