Getting hurt on the job can bring up a lot of questions. Mostly because most people never even stop to think about what they would do if it ever happened until it’s too late. Fortunately, our workers compensation attorneys are here to help you understand exactly who is considered disabled under Michigan workers compensation law, and what that means for you as a recently disabled employee, by answering the top 5 most frequently asked questions regarding the topic below.
Q#1: Who Can Receive Wage Loss Benefits After A Workplace Injury?
A#1: Anyone that experiences a personal injury on the job, and becomes disabled as a result, can attempt to claim wage loss benefits. In order to qualify as disabled, however, you must be able to prove, through official documentation from a trusted medical provider, that your disability has directly compromised your ability to earn a reasonable living within your existing skillset and experience.
Q#2: Does Having A Disability Automatically Qualify You To Receive Wage Loss Benefits?
A#2: Having a disability, and not being employed, does not automatically qualify you to receive wage loss benefits. For example, having a work-related injury when you retire, or leaving a job voluntarily to pursue other interests, will not make you eligible to receive benefits. In order to receive wage loss benefits, you must prove that your disability has made it impossible for you to maintain employment, and that is your only reason for not working.
In some cases your employer or their insurance provider will hire a vocational “expert” to testify that there are plenty of job available to you, or you will be offered “reasonable employment” that takes into account your new limitations, but be wary. These are often just ploys to try and avoid paying you the full wage loss benefit you may be entitled to, which is why having capable workers compensation attorneys through your benefits acquisition process is critical.
Q#3: How Can You Prove That You’re Actually Disabled?
A#3: To guarantee every claimant is treated the same, Michigan’s Supreme Court has a list of four steps that can help you prove disability within the definition of workers compensation law. These steps include:
- Disclosing all known skills, qualifications, experience, and training;
- Consider other means of employment you’re qualified for that offer you your maximum pre-injury wages;
- Collect irrefutable evidence and proof from a certified doctor that your work-related personal injury prevents you from maintaining employment within any of your current qualifications and training;
- If you have limited abilities, you must show that despite your efforts, you’re unable to obtain reasonable employment.
Q#4: What’s The Difference Between Partial and Total Disability?
A#4: Whether you are considered partially or totally disabled all has to do with your “wage earning capacity.” In these situations, it’s all that matters. If, for instance, you are found to be able to earn any wages at all, you can be considered only partially disabled, which means you may only be entitled to receive partial wage loss benefits, or worse have all your benefits taken away entirely.
Q#5: How Hard Is It To Prove Disability and Claim Benefits On Your Own?
A#5: Knowing exactly what you need to prove disability, and claim all the individual benefits and assistance you’re entitled to, can be a long and extremely complicated process, and all it takes is one mistake to thwart all of your progress. So, while it may be entirely possible to prove your disability and claim the workers’ compensation benefits you need on your own, you really should enlist the help of expert workers compensation attorneys, like ours at Aiello Law Group. Not only will it not cost you a thing upfront because that is the law, but you’ll also be able to walk away with total confidence knowing that nothing was overlooked and you were supported in the process. Call us, today, at 313.964.4900 or fill out the form in the sidebar or on our contact page, and learn more about how we can help you.