• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Back pain and workers’ compensation

by on
in Compensation and Benefits,Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

Q. We have an employee who has a “bad back.” We have medical reports indicating he has a congenital back problem that frequently causes severe pain. Although he has a light-duty job, he frequently misses work because of his back pain and often seeks workers’ compensation benefits during his absences. Are we always going to be liable for workers’ compensation benefits when his back prevents him from working?

A.
Michigan’s workers’ compensation law distinguishes a “personal injury” from “symptoms of a pre-existing injury.” A personal injury that occurs at work is compensable. A personal injury that does not occur at work is not compensable, and this remains true even if the employee experiences symptoms of that injury while at work.

The problem in many cases, however, is distinguishing between symptoms of a pre-existing injury (pain) and “aggravation” of the pre-existing injury. This is a fact-based inquiry, but in general, if your employee only experiences back pain at work (rather than re-injures his back), his absences are not compensable under workers’ compensation.

It goes without saying, however, there is a very fine line between what constitutes symptoms of a pre-existing injury and the aggravation of the pre-existing injury.

Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!

Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...

We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.

The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.

" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/5346/back-pain-and-workers-compensation "

Leave a Comment