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Workers' Compensation (Paid Wage Loss Claims)

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Department of Health and Human Services

Workers' Compensation (Paid Wage Loss Claims)

The law requires a safe and healthy workplace.1 But, workplace injuries and illnesses still occur daily. Almost all workplace injuries and illnesses can be prevented.2 In Michigan, there are about 20,000 individuals each year who have a new workers' compensation (WC) claim for a work-related injury or illness to cover lost work time and associated medical costs. There were over 52,000 people in 2020 receiving lost wage benefits from an injury or illness that happened in or before 2020. $781 million were paid in Michigan during 2020.3

Work-related injury and illness data for Michigan workers who received paid wage loss workers' compensation benefits or specific loss benefits are available on the MiTracking data portal.

  • A work-related injury is an injury that happens on the job.4 It can be a one-time event or happen over time. Injuries can happen in all types of workplaces.

  • A work-related illness is any illness where work caused the illness or made an existing illness worse.5 Work-related illnesses are from exposure to something at the workplace. Work-related illnesses often develop after a longer period of exposure. One-time exposures can also cause work-related illness. 

    Exposure Examples

    • Cold
    • Dust
    • Fumes
    • Gas
    • Heat
    • Infectious agents (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites)
    • Stress 

  • The Workers’ Compensation Agency (WCA) regulates Michigan’s Workers’ Disability Compensation Act. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance program, meaning the worker is not at-fault for an injury. A worker must be off for 7 or more days in a row (can include weekends) to qualify for paid wage loss benefits. Another category of claims is for specific loss and does not need to have 7 or more days off work to be awarded workers’ compensation; these include an amputation involving bone loss, loss of vision, total loss of hearing, or death. Medical or rehabilitation benefits do not have a requirement for days off.

    Workers’ compensation can include:

    • Wage replacement
    • Specific loss benefits (amputation involving bone loss, loss of vision, total loss of hearing, or death)
    • Medical benefits
    • Rehabilitation benefits

     

    For more information visit the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)’s Workers’ Compensation Agency (WCA).

  • The Workers' Disability Compensation Act covers most Michigan employers.1 Workers' compensation is a no-fault insurance program, meaning the worker is not at-fault for an injury. A worker must be off for more than 7 days in a row (can include weekends) to qualify for paid wage loss benefits. Another category of claims is for specific loss and does not need to have more than 7 days off work to be awarded workers' compensation; these include an amputation involving bone loss, loss of vision, total loss of hearing, or death. Medical or rehabilitation benefits do not have a requirement for days off.

    Workers' compensation can include:

    • Wage replacement
    • Specific loss benefits (amputation involving bone loss, loss of vision, total loss of hearing, or death)
    • Medical benefits
    • Rehabilitation benefits
       

    Employers must buy an insurance policy from a private insurance company or be self-insured. This requirement makes sure there is payment for claims and costs.

    Groups not covered:

    • Federal employees
    • Railroad employees
    • Seamen on navigable waters
    • Workers who load and unload water vessels
    • Private employers with less than three workers at any one time
    • Private employers with at least one worker employed for less than 35 hours per week, and who works less than 13 weeks total in a year
    • Self-employed
       

    For more information, visit the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity's Workers' Disability Compensation Agency.

  • The Workers' Disability Compensation Agency administers the Michigan's Workers' Disability Compensation Act.6 This Agency makes sure that workers receive payment for lost work time and medical care costs.

    Michigan Claims

    Most Michigan claims are the following type and/or location:

    Most common injuries:

    • Sprains and strains
    • Broken bones
    • Crushes
       

    Where injuries happen most often:

    • Factories
    • Schools
    • Hospitals
    • Stores
       

    For more information, visit the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity's Workers' Disability Compensation Agency.

  • All workers are at risk of having an injury or illness from exposure on the job.5

    Most at risk:

    • New employees
    • Senior, or long-term workers
    • Workers in certain types of industry

  • To prevent work-related injuries and illness, companies can7:

    • Develop health and safety plans
    • Have good engineering controls
    • Have safe work practices
    • Use state and national resources to keep workers safe
       

    The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) is the group that inspects a company to enforce workplace safety regulations.

    For more information, visit the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity at Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA).

  • MiTracking Workers' Compensation Indicator

    • Paid Wage Loss Claims
      • Statewide data may be grouped by
        • Employer Size (small, medium, large - by number of employees)
        • Industry Type (3-digit NAICS [North American Industry Classification System] code)
        • Injury Type
        • Year of injury (all years combined)
      • County data may be grouped by
        • Age Group
        • County of Employer
        • Employer Size
        • Gender
        • Industry Type (NIOSH NORA [National Occupational Research Agenda] sector)
        • Injury Type
        • Year of injury

    MiTracking Injury and Illness Data Can Tell Us

    • The number and rate of work-related amputations, abrasions and cuts, crushes and contusions, fractures and dislocations, sprains and strains, burns, concussions, and other diseases that are covered by wage replacement
    • How often wage loss claims are paid in various industries, locations, and groups of workers in Michigan

    MiTracking Injury and Illness Data Cannot Tell Us

    • The total burden of work-related injuries and illnesses in a population
    • The cause or conditions that led to the work-related injury or illness
    • The long-lasting effects on retirees
    • Workers not covered by the Workers' Disability Compensation Act
    • Workers who, although qualified, do not file a wage loss claim or a claim for a specific loss
    • Workers denied wage loss or specific loss claims
    • Workers who only received medical or rehabilitation benefits
    • Workers off work for less than eight days
    • Workers with injuries or illnesses who are assigned a different job at work while they are recovering from their injury or illness

    Find Out More

    In 2016, the Michigan State University (MSU) Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM) received funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to conduct a study of the paid wage and specific loss workers' compensation claims in Michigan.

    For more data information, visit:

    1. The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. MI Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA). https://www.michigan.gov/leo/0,5863,7-336-94422_11407---,00.html. Accessed August 1, 2019.
    2. Baker EL. Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks (SENSOR): the concept. Am J Public Health. 1989;79 Suppl(Suppl):18-20. doi:10.2105/ajph.79.suppl.18
    3. The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. Workers' Disability Compensation Agency: 2020 annual report. https://www.michigan.gov/documents/leo/2020_WDCA_Annual_Report_720822_7.pdf. Accessed August 1, 2021.
    4. NIOSH. Traumatic occupational injury. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/injury/. Accessed September 20, 2020.
    5. NIOSH. A-Z index for NIOSH. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/az/a.html. Accessed August 1, 2019.
    6. Workers' Disability Compensation Act 317, Chapter 418 (1969). https://www.michigan.gov/documents/cis_bwuc_act498_29374_7.pdf. Accessed August 1, 2019.
    7. OSHA. Safe + sound. https://www.osha.gov/safeandsound/safety-and-health-programs. Accessed August 1, 2019.

     

Contact Information

MiTracking emailmdhhs-mitracking@michigan.gov

Aaron Ferguson, MPA
Climate and Tracking Unit Manager
517-284-4801
FergusonA1@michigan.gov

Jillian Maras, MPH
MiTracking Program Manager
MarasJ@michigan.gov