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An overview of Michigan workers' compensation wage loss benefits

When a Michigan worker is unable to work due to an on-the-job injury or occupational disease, making ends meet can be a serious concern. To address this need, Michigan's workers' compensation system provides benefits to partially cover injured workers' lost wages during a period of disability.

Disability wage loss benefits are available only to workers who have lost at least one week of work due to their injury. To determine the amount of the benefit, one must know how much the employee was paid per week prior to the injury. To do this, the employer first identifies the 39 weeks with the highest wages out of the year-long period before the incident in question. The average wage of these 39 weeks is the worker's average weekly wage.

The worker is entitled to 80 percent of the after-tax amount of the wage calculated above. However, this amount can not be more than 90 percent of the average weekly wage in the state. Take, for example, Michigan's state average weekly wage for 2015, which has been set at $910.71; 90 percent of this amount is $820. Wage loss benefits can be paid for as long as the disability prevents a return to work. Sometimes the amount awarded to the worker is paid by the employer, but more often the insurance company contracted by the employer to cover such injuries is the payor.

The information in this post is general information and should not be taken as specific legal advice. If you have lost time from work due to a workplace accident, occupational disease or toxic exposure, an experienced Michigan workers' compensation attorney can answer questions about your particular situation.

Source: Michigan Workers' Compensation Agency, "Workers' Compensation in Michigan," accessed Feb. 13, 2015

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From offices in Saginaw, Michigan, Burns Law provides legal services for clients in Saginaw County, Isabella County, Bay County, Tuscola County, Huron County, Genesee County, Shiawassee County and the surrounding areas, including communities such as Flint, Grand Rapids, Bay City, Midland, Mount Pleasant, Lansing, Cadillac, Kentwood, Forest Hills and Ionia.