Do I have to file taxes to receive wage loss benefits under the Michigan No-Fault Law?
One of the pillars of the Michigan no-fault law is the wage loss benefit. Under the law, a person injured in a car or truck accident, or a motorcycle accident that involves a car or truck, is eligible to receive wage loss benefits if he or she misses work due to their auto accident injuries.
The law, more specifically MCL 500.3107(1)(b), allows for the payment of “work loss consisting of loss income from work an injured person would have performed during the first 3 years after the date of the accident if he or she had not been injured.”
The rate of pay is 85% of your gross wages. So for example, if you earn $1,000 a week, you are entitled to receive $850 in wage loss benefits for each week you miss due to car accident related injuries. As the statute says, the benefit is available up to 3 years from the date of the accident.
But what if you did not file taxes? Can a person receive wage loss benefits because of a car accident if he or she did not file taxes? The answer is yes. Nowhere in the Michigan no-fault law does it state a claimant cannot receive wage loss benefits because that person did not file federal or state taxes. The law simply requires the claimant (1) is disabled from work because of the car accident and (2) provides reasonable proof of the amount of wage loss owed. That’s it.
So then how do you prove wages? Well, there are multiple ways.
First, the best way is for an employer to complete what’s known as a Wage Verification Form. This document highlights the injured person’s wage rate/salary, hours worked per week, and other basic employment information. The employer then signs the form and returns it to the injured person or sends it directly into the auto insurance carrier.
Another way to show wages is by sending in W2 forms to the auto insurance company. This form is prepared by employers at the request of the IRS and states what a person earned at a certain job over a calendar year.
Another great way to show wage loss is by providing copies of your pay stubs near the time of the car accident. Because the rate of pay at the time of the car accident is what counts when determining wage loss, multiple pay stubs work near the date of the accident work best because they clearly demonstrate the rate of pay and the amount of hours worked.
If no written documentation is available to demonstrate your wage loss, a sworn affidavit from your boss stating your rate of pay and hours worked per week or month can work. Even live testimony by the injured person and his or her boss has been found to be sufficient evidence to show wage loss.
Simply stated, so long as you can show reasonable proof of wage loss, and the inability to work is from the car accident, you are entitled to wage loss benefits under the law. This is true even if you have not filed taxes in many years.
Wage loss benefits are a very important component of the Michigan no-fault law. Getting quick access to your lost wages is a central benefit of the no-fault scheme. If you or a loved are having problems getting lost wages, call the Michigan car accident lawyers at the Call Lee Free. The phone number is 1-800-533-3733. We have attorneys standing by ready to work on your case.