How Are Workers' Compensation Benefits Calculated

How Much Will I Receive From Workers' Compensation?

Most people who suffer work-related injuries that prevent them from continuing to work are concerned, and rightfully so. If you have just lost your ability to earn money at your job, you will most likely be wondering: How are workers' compensation benefits calculated?

Contact Adler Stilman, PLLC, to talk with an experienced Michigan workers' compensation attorney who can help you through the difficult process of understanding and obtaining your benefits.

Most injured workers are entitled to wage-loss benefits, reimbursement for medical expenses arising from the injury, and vocational rehabilitation benefits, each calculated differently.

Wage-Loss Benefits

Generally, a worker who suffered a work-related injury resulting in wage loss is entitled to 80 percent of the net average weekly wage (AWW) from the past year. The AWW is based on the highest 39 weeks of earnings during the 52 weeks prior to the injury. The maximum rate of benefits that a worker can receive is 90 percent of the state average weekly wage.

Workers who are injured but still able to work in a different job that pays less are generally entitled to compensation for 80 percent of the after-tax difference in wages between the two jobs.

Special Loss Benefits

Certain types of injures in which body parts are lost (arms, legs, hands, feet, fingers, toes and eyes) entitle the injured worker to additional workers' compensation benefits, despite the ability work and earn wages. Michigan workers' compensation law mandates a certain amount of weeks of benefits for different body parts. Further, a worker who suffered a special loss is entitled to a minimum of 25 percent of the state average weekly wage.

Total and Permanent Disability

Workers classified as totally and permanently disabled are eligible to receive increased workers' compensation benefits. Some of the injuries or illnesses that qualify workers for total and permanent disability classification include permanent:

  • Blindness
  • Loss of hands, feet, arms or legs
  • Paralysis
  • Insanity

Total and permanent disability benefit recipients can take advantage of state minimum and maximum benefit structures, and their benefits are not subject to any reductions or offsets arising from other benefits.

Reduced Benefits

In many cases, workers' compensation benefits will be reduced or offset for people receiving pensions or other benefits from their employers. Sometimes an injured worker receiving workers' compensation benefits will experience a reduction in Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. An injured worker cannot receive more than 80% of their pre-injury monthly earnings when workers' compensation benefits and Social Security Disability benefits are being received at the same time.

Medical Benefits

An injured worker is entitled to all reasonable and necessary medical care for as long as such need remains. Either the medical professional will send the medical bill directly to the employer or insurance company, or the employee pays for medical care and is reimbursed. The medical professional is required to send the medical bill directly to the employer or insurance company for payment. The employee is not responsible for any medical expenses that are reasonable and necessary, so long as they are related to the injury or disease.

Vocational Rehabilitation

An injured worker is entitled to up to 104 weeks of vocational rehabilitation assistance to enable them to return to alternate employment within their restrictions.

Contact Adler Stilman, PLLC

We have more than 45 combined years of experience handling Michigan workers' compensation settlements for clients in Wayne County, Macomb County, Oakland County and elsewhere in southeast Michigan. To speak with a Detroit workers' compensation benefits lawyer from the firm, call or contact us online.