WCRI study measures adequacy of Michigan workers comp income benefitsPosted On: Jun. 9, 2017 2:19 PM CST
Within 10 years following an injury, Michigan workers received an estimated 88% of earnings and income benefits that they would have received if they were not injured, according to a study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute.
The study looked into the adequacy of income benefits to replace lost earnings of injured workers using workers compensation and earnings data from Michigan for injuries that occurred in 2004, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based institute said.
During the 4.5 years following the injury, the average injured worker received an income equal to 97% of what they would have earned without an injury, the study found.
Workers with one to 12 months of temporary disability benefits had a total income that was estimated to replace 91% to 95% of earnings if they were not injured. Workers with permanent partial disability and lump-sum payments had a total income that was estimated to replace 69% of earnings within 10 years of the injury if they had not been injured, the study found.
The results vary by workers with different experiences with the system. Workers with PPD/LS and no prior temporary disability benefits payments have only an estimated 57% of the comparison earnings if they had not been injured, WCRI said.
According to WCRI, employment post injury may contribute to these findings. Forty-four percent of workers with more than one month of temporary disability benefits returned to work and stayed employed, while 31% had sporadic employment after initial return to work. An additional 21% of workers with more than one month of temporary disability benefits either had no meaningful return to work or only had sporadic intermediate-term employment patterns.