Employer’s Basic Report of Injury - Form WC-100: An employer/carrier shall report immediately to the Agency on Form WC-100 all injuries, including diseases, which arise out of and in the course of the employment, or on which a claim is made and results in any of the following: (a) Disability extending beyond seven (7) consecutive days, not including the date of injury; (b) Death; (c) Specific losses. In case of death, an employer shall also immediately file an additional report on WC-106.
Notice of Dispute - Form WC-107: In all cases where the right to benefits is disputed, the employer/carrier shall report to the Agency on or before the fourteenth day after the employer has notice or knowledge of injury or death on Notice of Dispute Form 107.
Report on Rehabilitation - Form WC-110: Reports are due three months from date of injury where indemnity benefits are being paid and every 4 months thereafter. All reports are to be accompanied by a current medical report.
Medical Treatment: The employer/carrier has the right to direct medical care for 28 days “from the inception of medical care.” Note: Medical bill reimbursement to worker should be made within 30 days after notice or penalty may apply.*
Notice of Compensation Payments – Form WC-107: This form is used to report to the Agency payment of weekly compensation benefits made to the employee.
WEEKLY WAGE LOSS BENEFITS: Due and payable on the 14th day. Note: Penalty may apply if over 30 days late.*
The weekly compensation rate is determined by establishing the Average Weekly Wage (AWW) and the number of dependents.
The AWW is the average of the highest 39 weeks of the 52 weeks immediately preceding the date of injury. If there are less than 39 weeks worked, the wage is determined by calculating the average of those “weeks in which work [was] performed.”
This formula is correct unless there are “special circumstances.” Consult the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Agency’s website for a complete rate chart.
Year Max Rate 2/3 State AWW 50% SAWW 25%
2012 $775.00 $573.56 $430.17 $215.09
2011 $742.00 $548.90 $411.68 $205.84
2010 $746.00 $552.49 $414.37 $207.18
2009 $752.00 $556.53 $417.40 $208.70
Note: If fringe benefits are discontinued, the employer’s cost of those fringe benefits must be added to the AWW if the claimant’s compensation rate is less than 2/3 of the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). 50% of the SAWW is the minimum benefit for death cases. 25% of the SAWW is the minimum benefit payable for specific loss and total and permanent disability benefits.
MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT RATE:
Mileage is to be reimbursed to the claimant for all medical related travel expenses. As of 10/1/11, the reimbursable rate is .555 per mile. Click here for a complete mileage rate chart.
*See Section 418.801 for all penalty provisions
DEFINITION OF DISABILITY/WAGE EARNING CAPACITY:
MCL 418.301(4)(b) states “wage-earning capacity” means the wages an employee “is capable of earning” at a job reasonably available to him or her. As of 12/19/2011, the legislature added language “…whether or not wages are actually earned.” The amendments place an affirmative duty on the employee to seek work that is reasonably available and that a Magistrate may consider a good faith job search in determining that availability. For injuries on or after 12/19/2011 an employee must:
1. Disclose his/her qualifications and training, including education, skills and experiences, whether or not they are relevant to the job the employee was performing at the time of his or her injury.
2. Provide evidence as to the jobs, if any, he or she is qualified and trained to perform within the same salary range as his or her maximum wage earning capacity at the time of the injury.
3. Demonstrate that the work related injury prevents the employee from performing jobs identified within his or her qualifications and training paying maximum wages.
4. If the employee is capable of performing any of the jobs identified above, they must show that they cannot obtain those positions.
AGGRAVATION OF PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS:
A personal injury under the Michigan Workers’ Disability Compensation Act is compensable if work causes, contributes to or aggravates pathology in a manner so as to create a pathology that is medically distinguishable from any pathology that existed prior to the injury. As to mental disabilities and conditions of the aging process (and degenerative arthritis as of the amendments in place effective 12/19/2011), the claimant must show that the condition was aggravated in a significant manner.
Mental disabilities must be based on actual events of employment and the employee’s perception of which must be reasonably grounded in fact or reality. The employment event must aggravate or cause the mental disability in a “significant manner.” MCL 418.301(2).
FAVORED OR ACCOMMODATED WORK:
During the first 100 weeks of favored work, if the employee loses his or her job through “no fault of the employee,” he or she shall be entitled to weekly benefits at the original rate. If the employee is terminated as a result of his or her fault, benefits may be terminated. After 100 weeks of favored work, there is a presumption that the employee has established a new wage earning capacity. After 250 weeks of subsequent employment, that presumption is conclusive.
COORDINATION OF BENEFITS:
Old-Age Social Security benefits (50% of monthly benefit amount) and regular pension benefits may be coordinated against wage loss benefits. Under certain circumstances, disability pensions may be coordinated. The claimant is required to provide a release of information form and/or proof of application and award letter.
If the employer provides disability benefits to the claimant, those benefits can also be coordinated against the workers’ compensation wage loss liability. See MCL 418.354. There is a special method of calculating the amount of the benefit to be coordinated. This program can also be found in the Agency’s website at: www.michigan.gov/wca.
Michigan bars receipt of benefits when the employee is injured as a result of his or her intentional misconduct.
As of January 1, 2013, the Michigan law on independent contractors will be controlled by the 20-factor test used by the IRS. (Revenue Ruling 87-41, 1C.B. 296). One of the provisions states that an individual will be considered an employee if federal income tax was withheld from his/her pay.