Employees injured at work are entitled to wage-loss payments while they recuperate. But they don’t get payments for the times when they wouldn’t normally have been earning wages.
Thus, for example, an employee who gets hurt at work the day before he retires hasn’t lost any wages and won’t be eligible for compensation. Similarly, the workers’ compensation system won’t pay an injured employee who subsequently goes to jail for a committing a crime. Imprisonment cost him his wages, not the injury.
Advice: Let your insurance carrier or attorney know if an injured employee’s status changes.
Recent case: Israel Raybon played defensive line for the Grand Rapid Rampage arena football team when an on-field injury cut his season short.
Raybon applied for workers’ compensation, started receiving wage-replacement payments and kept getting workers’ comp even after the season ended. The team owners appealed, arguing they wouldn’t have paid Raybon during the off-season, therefore he didn’t lose any wages during that time.
The Michigan Court of Appeals agreed. Because he didn’t work in the off-season, Raybon wasn’t eligible for wage-replacement payments during that time frame. (Raybon v. WCAC DP Fox Football Holdings, No. 268634, Court of Appeals of Michigan, 2007)
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