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The Basics of Michigan Workers' Comp Laws

If you suffer a work injury in the state of Michigan, you may be eligible for Michigan workers' comp benefits. Workers' comp in Michigan is administered by the state's Workers' Compensation Agency, which is also referred to as the Michigan Workers' Compensation Bureau.

If you believe you have a Michigan workers' comp claim, you should try to develop a basic understanding of Michigan workers' comp laws. In addition, you may want to reach out to a knowledgeable workers' compensation attorney, who can help assess your claim's strengths and weaknesses.

Michigan Workers' Comp Benefits

Injured workers file workers' comp claims to collect workers' comp benefits. These benefits pay injured workers for such things as medical costs arising from the injury as well as compensation for lost wages due to disability.

The amount of money paid to a worker who becomes disabled due to a workplace injury depends on the nature of the injury. Factors affecting benefit payouts include the severity of the disability and whether the injury is permanent. For example, a worker who is permanently and totally disabled will never be able to return to work and will receive more compensation than a worker who is only temporarily disabled.

Under Michigan workers' compensation law, an employee who suffers an injury that leaves him totally incapacitated is typically entitled to 80 percent of his or her average weekly wage. For employees who are only partially incapacitated, compensation tends to be 80 percent of the difference between the employee's weekly wages before the injury and the employee's weekly wages after the injury.

In addition, injured workers must wait seven days before receiving workers' compensation. However, if the worker remains disabled for two weeks after the injury occurs, he or she can collect payment for those days after the injury occurred for which payment was not received. This is known as retroactive compensation.

Michigan Workers' Comp Claims

If you are injured while on the job, you should inform a supervisor immediately. Not only will this help ensure you get proper medical attention as soon as possible, but it will also help ensure you can receive workers' compensation benefits.

If it appears that you will be disabled for more than a week, the employer must file a report with the state Workers' Compensation Agency. The employer will also inform its workers' compensation insurance carrier of the injury. The insurer will make a determination of whether to accept or deny your claim.

If the claim is accepted, then workers' comp benefits will be granted and paid out within a week after injury occurs. If the claim is denied, however, you will have to contact the state Workers' Compensation Agency within two years after the injury occurred to dispute the denial.

If more than two years passes before you contact the Workers' Compensation Agency, you may be barred from collecting any benefits. In addition, if you are planning on disputing a denial for workers' compensation benefits, you should consider contacting a Michigan workers' compensation lawyer to represent you.

Michigan Workers' Comp Resources

If you have further questions about Michigan workers' compensation laws, specifically those regarding the claims process or benefits, contact the Michigan Workers' Compensation Agency.

If you would like more information about workplace safety, contact your local Michigan OSHA office. OSHA (or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is the government body in charge of overseeing workplace safety and health guidelines.

Finally, if you have questions regarding a specific claim or your own workers' compensation benefits, contact a Michigan workers' compensation attorney.