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Workers' Compensation FAQ

The following are the most frequently asked questions about Workers' Compensation. 

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What is Workers' Compensation?

Workers' Compensation is a statutory benefit governed by the laws of the State of Michigan to provide wage replacement due to job-related injuries or death. Worker's Compensation wage replacement is made up of four major categories of coverage: disability income (approximately two-thirds of pre-disability income), medical care, death benefits, and vocational rehabilitative services.

How do I apply for Workers' Compensation if I am injured on the job?

If you are injured on the job and medical treatment is needed, notify your supervisor of the injury. He/She is required to complete the Authorization to Invoice MSU form. Take the completed form with you to the University designated physician for treatment. The cost of your treatment services will be billed to the Workers' Compensation office.

You must also complete the Report of Claimed Occupational Injury or Illness form, within 24 hours of the injury. This form may be completed after medical treatment is received and must be mailed to MSU Human Resources Benefits Office, Workers' Compensation, 1407 S. Harrison Road, Suite 140, East Lansing, MI 48823 or faxed to (517) 353-1869.

How is a physician chosen and can I change the selected physician?

Michigan law allows the employer to direct care during the initial stage of a workplace injury. This means that during the first 28 days of treatment, in order to qualify for Workers' Compensation, you must be seen by a physician chosen by MSU. After the initial 10 days of treatment you may change doctors, however, the law requires that you notify the Workers' Compensation office of any change by completing an Intent to Treat form.

Who receives the medical bills?

For bills to be considered promptly, doctors and other medical providers should submit invoices directly to the Workers' Compensation office. Approved invoices that are paid directly (by the claimant) are entitled to reimbursement. Submit your receipts to MSU Human Resources Benefits, Workers' Compensation, 1407 S. Harrison Road, Suite 140, East Lansing, MI 48823, for reimbursement.

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How much will I be paid for time lost on the job?

Workers' Compensation disability is 80% of your after-tax wages based on the highest 39 weeks of the previous 52 weeks of earnings prior to your date of injury. This is considered your average weekly wage. In determining your weekly Workers' Compensation rate, your average weekly wage rate is combined with your marital status, number of dependents and tax filing status, to determine compensation.

Who is entitled to receive Workers' Compensation disability income?

Workers' Compensation disability income is payable if you are compensably disabled. You are considered compensable disabled as long as you are unable to do any job that was within your pre-injury qualifications and training.

How long do Workers' Compensation benefits continue?

Workers' Compensation benefits may continue indefinitely, provided eligibility criteria continues to be met.

Do I have to accept a "light duty" job?

An individual will lose benefits if "light duty" work is refused. To be considered "light duty" the work must add value to your department or MSU.

Are benefits received under Workers' Compensation taxable?

Workers' Compensation benefits are not subject to either state or federal income tax.

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Are there any increases or decreases made in the rate of benefits I may receive?

Under ordinary circumstances there are no adjustments in the level of benefits received. There are a few exceptions that can apply to workers who qualify as totally and permanently disabled.

Are Workers' Compensation benefits affected by other benefits I might receive?

Yes, Workers' Compensation benefits are coordinated with other benefits you receive from MSU. This coordination is allowed under Michigan Statutes. Workers' Compensation benefits are reduced by the after-tax value of the other MSU benefits you receive such as retirement, Social Security and Long Term Disability.

What medical services does Workers' Compensation pay for if I am injured?

Workers' Compensation will pay for necessary medical care for a work-related injury or illness. This includes medical, surgical, nursing and hospital services. Under certain conditions, dental care, crutches, and artificial appliances such as limbs, eyes, teeth, eyeglasses and hearing aids may be covered.

If I continue to receive medical treatment beyond the first visit, does Workers' Compensation pay for it?

Workers' Compensation must authorize payment for necessary medical care for open and active work-related injury or illness.

Mileage may also be reimbursed for travel to and from medical appointments at the State designated rate. For mileage reimbursement complete the Workers' Compensation Medical Travel Reimbursement Request form.

What if the doctor puts me off work or releases me with restrictions?

If you are put off work or released with restrictions and your department does not have a job for you within your restrictions, you are entitled to receive Workers' Compensation for lost time. These payments start on the eighth calendar day you are off work. If you are off 14 days or more, you will be paid retroactive from your first day off.

If you are a regular employee, or a temporary employee with at least 90 days of continuous service (not a student or an on-call) you are entitled to Accident Time (this time is not deducted from your sick bank). This equals your full base wage for the first seven calendar days. If you are off 14 days or more, you will be paid retroactive from your first day off.

MSU has denied my Workers' Compensation claim; what other coverage options are available to me?

MSU Employee's covered by other MSU benefits such as sick leave, disability, personal leave, health care, and retirement contributions may still have access to those benefits upon the denial of a Workers' Compensation claim or until final resolution of an appeal is reached.

What happens to my MSU health and dental benefits while I am out on Workers' Compensation?

Your health and dental benefits will continue while you are on Workers' Compensation as long as the Employee Contribution portion (if applicable) of your monthly premiums is paid. While you remain in a pay status (using sick or vacation leave), premium deductions will continue to be taken from your paycheck. When you drop to non-pay status (leave without pay), MSU Human Resources Benefits will bill you for your insurance premium. The premium rates will be consistent with your payroll deduction amount.

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What happens to my retirement contribution if I am receiving Workers' Compensation lost time wages?

If you are receiving FULL Workers' Compensation payments plus accruals (sick, vacation or personal) to keep you at full pay, your retirement contributions continue on the accrual portion of your pay.

If you are receiving REGULAR Workers' Compensation payments only, your retirement contributions stop until you return to work.

Who is covered under Workers' Compensation?

All persons with whom the University maintains an employer-employee relationship as determined by MSU HR Workers' Compensation Department.

When does Workers' Compensation begin to pay?

If you are put off work or released with restrictions and your department does not have a job for you within your restrictions, you are entitled to receive Workers' Compensation for lost time. These payments start on the eighth calendar day you are off work. If you are off 14 days or more, you will be paid retroactive from your first day off.

If you are a regular employee, or a temporary employee with at least 90 days of continuous service (not a student or an on-call) you are entitled to Accident Time (this time is not deducted from your sick bank). This equals your full base wage for the first seven calendar days. If you are off 14 days or more, you will be paid retroactive from your first day off.

How does Workers' Compensation coordinate with my sick, vacation and Family Medical Leave?

While Workers' Compensation pays a percentage of your average weekly wage, sick leave must be used to supplement your Workers' Compensation benefits. At your discretion, vacation and personal leave may also be used to help supplement your Workers' Compensation benefits.

Family Medical Leave is not an additional leave. Rather, it is used along with sick leave, vacation leave, Workers' Compensation or leave without pay.

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