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The Flint Journal & Genesee County Bar Association’s “Ask the Attorney” Column


Q. I can no longer do my job due to a work injury. I asked to be retrained. Instead, the workers’ compensation insurer hired a company to “train” me how to write a resume and to make me apply for dead-end minimum wage jobs. Can I get the retraining I really need?

A. Michigan law provides that an injured worker is entitled to vocational rehabilitation that restores a worker to a ‘remunerative’ occupation. Michigan caselaw has stated for many years that it is not appropriate vocational rehabilitation to force a high wage earner to beg for dead-end low wage jobs. An injured worker can receive up to two years of paid college tuition to be restored to a remunerative or similarly paying occupation. If the insurance company is too cheap to voluntarily provide real retraining, the Workers’ Compensation Agency can order the insurance company to provide the retraining you deserve. To continue to receive weekly benefits under the current law, it is however important to show that you are unable to perform or obtain work in order to receive full unreduced benefits.

Atty. Robert J. MacDonald
–November 2007 column (updated Jan 2021)