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Five Facts to Know about Michigan Workers' Compensation

If you are a Michigan worker, you may already know about Michigan workers' compensation. The system covers medical costs and provides wage replacement benefits to injured workers. But workers' compensation is a complex program, and there are many aspects you may never have heard of.

Here are five facts about workers' compensation that are important for workers to know:

1. Workers' compensation covers more than physical injuries.

You may assume that workers' comp is available only if you are physically hurt in a workplace accident. But illnesses and psychological injuries also are potentially compensable in Michigan. You may be eligible for benefits if you have been exposed to a toxic chemical that made you ill. You also could receive benefits for psychological injuries caused by stress or trauma on the job.

2. You have a right to information about your employer's workers' compensation insurance coverage.

You have a right to know if your employer has workers' compensation coverage and who the carrier is. Your employer is supposed to post this information or provide it to you when you ask; however, you can also look up the information on the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website or call the Workers' Compensation Agency at 888-396-5041.

3. You have a right to request a new nurse case manager.

If you are not happy with the nurse case manager assigned to you, you may request a new one or inform the agency that you do not wish further case management services altogether.

4. You have a right to select your own doctor after the first 28 days.

Although your employer has a right to select your doctor initially you can change to the doctor of your choice after the first 28 days of care. You must notify your employer of the change and provide contact information for your new doctor.

5. You have the right to appeal a denial.

If your claim for workers' compensation benefits is denied, you have a right to appeal. There are several stages of appeal that a workers' compensation claim may go through; however, it becomes more complicated and more difficult to get a claim approved with each successive appeal level.

If you are suffering from a work-related injury or illness, an experienced workers' compensation attorney can assist you in preparing and filing your claim. If you have filed a claim that was denied, an attorney can help you with appeal.