Work Comp Report Shows Michigan's System Remains an Economic Asset While Protecting Workers; Lower costs allow employers to hire more workers, increase salaries

Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280

MI Total Costs Per Claim With > 7 Days Lost Time The Lowest Of Study StatesMay 9, 2016 - A new report shows that Michigan’s workers’ compensation system continues to give the state a competitive economic advantage in attracting new employers, while still ensuring the protection of injured workers. Last year, the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Agency (WCA) ensured the proper payment of over $1 billion in benefits to Michigan workers injured on the job. A recently released Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) study compared workers' compensation claims and found Michigan’s average cost per claim was once again the lowest of the 18 states surveyed.

“Our stable workers’ compensation system continues to safeguard Michiganders injured on the job and this new report demonstrates that it remains an economic tool to attract and retain businesses,” said Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Director Shelly Edgerton. “Lower costs give companies the ability to expand operations, hire more employees and increase salaries.” 

WCRI’s CompScope™ Benchmarks for Michigan, 16th Edition reported:

  • Between 2009 and 2014, total costs per claim decreased for more mature claims (36 and 48 months)

  • During the study, Michigan had the largest decrease in percentage of claims with defense attorney involvement and medical legal expenses of all study states.

  • Duration of temporary disability decreased throughout the entire study period for claims at 36 and 48 months.

  • Michigan had the largest decrease in indemnity benefits/claim of all states in a 36-month period. 

“Our reforms continue to stabilize our workers’ compensation system, ensuring the promise of compensation for Michigan workers injured in the workplace,” said WCA Director Mark Long. “We will continue to innovate our regulatory processes to protect workers and reduce costs for employers.”

The WCA has been focused on administering a well-developed fee schedule which controls medical costs for work-related injuries. A recent medical report from WCRI, found the state’s average medical payments per claim were among the lowest of the studied states.

In late 2011, Gov. Snyder signed sweeping legislation reforming the state's workers' compensation system. These improvements included defining disability and post-injury earning capacity, and have played an underlying role in the reduction of costs for our employers. The changes brought certainty to Michigan’s work comp system, ensuring the protection of Michiganders injured on the job and has helped put them back to work.

Michigan's injured workers and their employers are governed by the Workers' Disability Compensation Act. The Act was first adopted in 1912 and provides compensation to workers who suffer an injury on the job and protects employers' liability. The mission of the WCA is to efficiently administer the Act and provide prompt, courteous and impartial service to all customers.

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