Grand Rapids Workers' Compensation FAQ
I Got Hurt At Work, What Should I Do?
You need to report your injury as soon as possible to your manager, company nurse, or Human Resources Department. You should then attend the occupational clinic your employer directs you to.
Do I Have To Go To The Company's Doctor?
Your employer has the right to direct your medical care for the first 28 days after your injury. You should cooperate with your employer and attend the company clinic. After 28 days you have the right to treat with a doctor of your choice for your injuries, so long as the treatment is reasonable and necessary.
What Benefits Am I Entitled To?
Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, your employer’s insurance carrier should pay for reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to your injuries. After you are off work for seven continuous days, you are entitled to wage loss benefits if you can show wage loss related to your injuries. Finally, you can request vocational rehabilitation benefits for up to two years if you cannot go back to your former profession.
When Am I Entitled To Wage Loss Benefits?
If you are off work as a result of your work-related condition, you may be entitled to wage loss benefits. If your doctor has opined you are unable to perform any work at all, you should receive wage loss benefits. If your doctor has opined you can do your job with restrictions, you should ask your employer whether they can accommodate those restrictions. If your employer cannot accommodate your restrictions, you need to actively seek employment within your restrictions. If you can show you are trying to work, but cannot do so because of your work-related medical condition, you should receive wage loss benefits.
I Am Receiving Wage Loss Benefits, But It's Not As Much As My Paychecks Were. How Are Wage Loss Benefits Calculated?
Workers’ Compensation wage loss benefits represent approximately 80% of your net wages.
I Am Off Work, But I'm Going To Go Back When I Recover. Do I Still Need To Look For Work?
Yes. In order to receive wage loss benefits, you need to demonstrate you are doing everything you can to find work. You should be open and honest to prospective employers about your situation.
What Is An Independent Medical Evaluation, And Do I Need To Attend?
An independent medical evaluation (IME) is an evaluation by a physician of your employer’s choice. Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, your employer and their insurance carrier have the right to send you for an evaluation. You need to attend in order to keep your benefits.
My Benefits Were Cut Off After I Was Sent For An Independent Medical Evaliation. Can I Get My Benefits Back?
It is not uncommon for your company’s doctor to give an opinion different than your own doctor. Your company can stop your workers’ compensation benefits based on the opinion of their own doctor. When this happens, it is best to seek an attorney’s help to file a petition with the Workers’ Compensation Agency.
Do I Need A Lawyer?
In many cases, the insurance carrier will work with you and provide your benefits. However, if you have not consulted with an attorney you cannot be certain you are receiving all available benefits. It is in your best interest to discuss your claim with an attorney in order to insure proper handling of your case and receipt of all available benefits. The attorneys at Tanis Schultz are happy to meet with you at no charge to discuss your claim.