What You Need to Know About Workers Compensation Law in Michigan
Each state in the United States establishes laws that provide injured workers with the right to receive wage replacement benefits as well as medical benefits. In the state of Michigan, the Department of Labor and Economic Growth is the one that administers the funds for workers compensation. This state uses a no-fault liability system, meaning that the employee does not need to wait to provide proof of fault before he can start to receive benefits. However, true eligibility will depend on the time that the employee reports the injury and whether it was within his job duties.
What is Workers Comp?
Short for workers compensation, workers comp is a series of laws that are established by the state to protect workers from injury and disability. Specifically, these laws ensure that should an injury or disability occur while at work, the employee will be provided with a fixed monetary award, which eliminates the need to sue and enter a court for litigation.
Workers comp will also provide benefits to the family of the employee should something occur at work that causes death or a work-related accident eventually causes the employee to pass away. Workers comp laws are also designed to protect employers and other workers, however, in that the amount that an employee can receive is limited. In addition, this usually also eliminates other employees from liability from an accident that occurs at work.
Separate from these laws is the Federal Employment Compensation Act, which was designed to set statures for federal employees or those who have been employed in some kind of interstate commerce position. Most of the rules are the same, though the laws are strictly for employees who have passed away or become disabled while performing job duties. The cause may not be due to intoxication or willful neglect by that employee.
The act will also cover any medical expenses that are incurred as a result of the disability and should the employee need to retrain for his job. Disabled workers will get at least 66 percent of his monthly salary under this act, but he can also receive more should the injuries be permanent or if he has a family. Compensation will be given to any of the worker’s dependents if the employee has died due to work.
The hearing division is also present to resolve any disputes that may come up as a result of a workers compensation case. During this case, there are many issues that may be brought up to this division, which can include supportive care, the loss of earning capacity, continuing benefits, compensation or the reopening of a claim. The claims division will contact the hearing division with a request to file, and the latter will be responsible for making the final decision of the arisen dispute.
Employees are able to receive wage benefits under this act for up to 800 weeks, or just over 15 years. After this time has passed, the agency responsible will perform an assessment after the injury to evaluate the condition of the employee. Should the employee still be too injured to work a regular job, then the agency may continue providing benefits beyond the limit of 800 weeks.
Because the workers compensation law in Michigan is set on a no-fault system, in order to receive benefits, an employee may need to give up the right to sue an employer. Note, however, that there are exceptions for those who have chosen to sue an employer who has been violating federal laws or intentionally injuring the employee.
In order for an employee to receive benefits to replace his lost wages in Michigan, he will have had to have lost seven or more days of work first. If the employee is forced to miss work for two weeks, then the state will pay out benefits for that first waiting week.
The state of Michigan will also pay out its benefits based on the employee’s average weekly rate, which is the highest 39 weeks in which the employee made money in the year before the injury. If eligible to receive benefits, then employees will typically make about 80 percent of their net average earnings as their allowance. The state operates with legal limits and cannot pay a benefit that is more than the limit of the state.
Under the workers compensation law for Michigan, if an injured worker is capable of going back to work, then he must; if he cannot work for the same employer as before, then the state will require the employee to seek work elsewhere. As long as this employee is capable of working without risking additional damage, he will need to find work to keep getting his benefits.