There are basic rules an employee must follow to become eligible for Michigan workers’ compensation benefits.
First, the employee must report the injury to his employer. By failing to notify your employer, you are potentially endangering your ability to obtain workers’ comp benefits.
Like any insurance dispute, coverage is key. An injured worker must meet certain requirements to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These requirements include:
- claimant is an employee of an employer subject to WCDA
- employee sustains a personal injury or suffers an occupational disease
- the injury or disease arises out of and in the course and scope of employment
- the employee is disabled
- there must be a related wage loss
A worker has up to 2 years to file a Workers’ Compensation claim.
For the first 28 days of medical treatment, the employee must go to a medical facility selected by the employer for treatment. After 28 days, the injured worker can go his own doctor but must first notify his employer or the insurance company in writing.
There is a seven-day waiting period to be eligible for wage-loss benefits. If your wage loss lasts longer than seven consecutive days, you can obtain wage loss benefits beginning on the eighth day.
If your employer does not file a claim for you, you can file a form WC-117 with the Workers’ Compensation Agency.
What Should I Do If I am Injured on the Job?
If you are injured while on the job, you should report the injury immediately to your employer. Failure to provide proper notice can result in losing access to all available benefits. If medical attention is needed, you should seek medical treatment immediately.
If you cannot reach an agreement with your employer or their insurance carrier about the medical benefits or wage loss benefits you are entitled to, you can file a claim with the Bureau of Workers’ Disability Compensation. The Bureau has sole jurisdiction for deciding workers comp disputes.
What Happens If My Workers’ Comp Claim is Disputed or Denied?
If your workers’ compensation claim has been disputed or denied, you can appeal the denial by filing paperwork with the Workers’ Compensation Agency. A magistrate will be assigned to hear your case and make a decision on your claim based on the medical documentation presented. You should retain an attorney to represent you during the appeal process.
To prove your case you must be disabled. This means you must show the work-related injury has caused a reduction in your maximum wage-earning capacity in work suitable to your qualifications and training. Just because you are injured does not mean you are automatically entitled to workers’ comp benefits.
There are time limits in appealing a denial. In addition, you will need medical documentation to support your claim.
There is no formal discovery process in workers’ compensation proceedings. All sides will exchange all pertinent information, including wage and medical records. During this time, you will probably be examined by doctors and vocational rehabilitation experts hired by the insurance company. These doctors and experts are not there to help you; rather they are retained by the insurance company to minimize your claim.
After the discovery process concludes, a hearing is conducted in front of a magistrate and the claim is decided.
What To Do Next
Obtaining Michigan workers’ compensation benefits is not easy. The law is stacked against injured workers like never before. It is important to get the most benefits you can.
Please call Lee Free and Michigan Workers Compensation lawyers for a case evaluation at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form so we can answer any questions you may have about your Michigan Workers’ Compensation benefits.
We are the Michigan Workers’ Compensation experts. You pay nothing until we win your Michigan workers’ compensation case. Let us help you today.