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Things you should know about workers' compensation benefits

If you suffer an injury or illness on the job in Michigan, you may be eligible for benefits through workers' compensation. Some businesses are exempt from providing this benefit, but most companies must provide this insurance, which covers a number of different things.

According to Michigan's Workers' Compensation Agency, most public and private businesses must carry workers' compensation insurance for their employees. Federal workers' compensation laws cover some employees, such as federal workers and those who work across state lines, but most employers must follow the state regulations. These regulations require workers' compensation for the following:

  • All public businesses
  • Private companies that employ one or more full-time (35 hours or more/week) employees
  • Private businesses that employ three or more part-time and full-time workers
  • Homeowners who employ one or more workers full-time
  • Agricultural owners who employ three or more full-time employees

Workers' compensation insurance does not cover independent contractors or workers who are self-employed.

There are strict penalties for those who do not carry the required coverage. These may include potential jail time, a $1,000 fine for each day the employer does not have insurance and prohibition of hiring until the employer obtains insurance. An injured employee can also take legal action against the employer who does not have workers' compensation.

According to the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, this type of insurance covers expenses for those who have a work-related illness or injury. These expenses may include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Disability income
  • Death benefits for survivors
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Assistance to return to work


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