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Workers Compensation in Michigan

Jason Metz

Michigan requires all employers to have workers comp insurance for employees, with only a few exceptions.

Workers compensation insurance generally pays medical bills and some of an employee's lost income if they are injured while doing a job-related task. The types of work injuries typically covered by workers comp might include muscle injuries, broken bones and carpal tunnel.

Michigan workers compensation law specifies who can be exempt from coverage, who must be covered and certain limits of workers compensation payments. Below are many of the specifics contained in the workers comp law in Michigan. The Michigan Workers' Compensation Agency also has a page with helpful information for employers.

Who has to be covered by Michigan workers compensation?

Can any employees opt out of Michigan workers compensation with a waiver?

Yes - corporate officers can.

Is self-insurance for workers comp allowed in Michigan?

Yes, for individual employers, groups of employers and political subdivisions. Political subdivisions in Michigan are typically the state or a city, county, special district, school district or public agency.

By self-insuring, a business assumes responsibility for paying their own workers comp claims. A self-insured company typically hires a claims service company to handle claims administration and other services.

Are there exclusions for:

Small employers? Yes, for employers who employ fewer than three part-time employees, but all full-time employees must be covered.

Agricultural employers? Yes, depending on hours worked, some employees may only have medical coverage.

Domestic employers? Yes, if an employee works 35 hours or less per week.

Independent contractors? Yes.

Casual employees? No.

Volunteers? Yes.

Professional athletes? No.

Michigan workers comp medical benefits

Is there a Michigan workers comp fee schedule?


Fee schedules define payments for surgery, radiology, hospital services, chiropractic care, ambulance service, prescription drugs and other medical services for an injured worker.

Are there limits on medical treatment?


Who makes the initial choice of treating physician?

The employer may direct for the first 28 days of care, then the injured worker may choose his or her own treating physician.

Disability payments for workers compensation insurance in Michigan

Workers comp generally pays some of an employee's salary if they cannot work due to a job-related injury. State laws define certain limits on the amounts and length of disability payments, based on both permanent and temporary disability.

How are temporary total disability (TTD) payments calculated?

80% of the employee's spendable, after-tax, or net weekly wages, subject to a maximum.

Weekly minimum: None

Weekly maximum: $842

Maximum length of TDD benefits: January 1st, each year.

How are permanent total disability (PTD) payments calculated?

80% of the employee's spendable, after-tax, or net weekly wages, subject to a minimum and maximum.

Weekly minimum: $233.75

Weekly maximum: $842

Are there cost of living increases for PTD payments? Recalculated yearly based on new yearly maximum effective on January 1st.

Maximum length of PTD benefits: 800 weeks.

How are permanent partial disability (PPD) payments calculated?

Michigan law doesn't require PDD payments.

Fatality benefits under Michigan workers compensation law

Maximum burial benefit: $6,000

Dependency benefits, weekly minimum / maximum: $467.50/842

When do children's dependency benefits end? At age 18, however, a magistrate may order continued payment until age 21.

Other injuries covered by Michigan workers compensation

Mental stress with no physical injury? Yes, if arising out of actual events of employment.

Cumulative trauma (such as injuries caused by repeated exposure or repetitive motion)? Yes.

Occupational hearing loss? No.

Disfigurement? No.

Source: Workers Compensation Research Institute, May 2016 report