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Q. If am killed on the job, what will my family receive? (Nov 2017)

A. Dependents of Michigan workers killed on the job generally receive 500 weeks of workers’ comp benefits, or somewhat more under certain circumstances. The benefit rate is generally based upon the worker’s income, number of dependents and the extent to which the dependent relied upon the worker’s income. If a deceased worker had no dependents, the only payment Michigan workers’ compensation would provide is $6,000 for burial expenses. Benefits paid to dependents can sometimes be significant, but sometimes not. By way of example, because of her income from her own job, a widow of a Michigan employee was entitled to receive a total of $60,000 over the course of 500 weeks under Michigan workers’ compensation law when her husband was killed at work–but only because he was killed while working out of state, she was able to collect $375,000 under a different state’s laws with better worker protections. If you think, as I do, that more should be provided to families of Michigan workers killed on the job, let your state legislators know.

-Attorney Robert J. MacDonald