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Flint Journal ‘Ask the Attorney’ Column

Q.  I was hurt on the job and can no longer do my job. I am receiving workers’ comp wage loss benefits. How long will they continue?

 A. Weekly workers’ compensation wage loss benefits in Michigan are potentially payable for life. For injuries since 1982, workers comp generally pays 80% of the after tax value of your lost wages, up to 90% of the state average weekly wage, (which for 2015 is $820/week.) Certain other benefits can reduce workers’ comp, and employers sometimes argue benefits can be further reduced if you retain a wage earning capacity. As long as you are looking for work, that deduction should not occur.  If you are permanently unable to return to your former work, you may also want to consider asking comp to pay for two years of schooling under the vocational rehabilitation provisions of the law. Sometimes employers or insurance companies offer buyouts rather than engage in protracted fights about your ability to perform or obtain other work. Feel free to contact me for a consultation regarding your individual situation.

–Attorney Robert J. MacDonald (Sept 2015)