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MI Worker's Compensation - GM Retirees Get Reduced Worker's Comp Checks

Throughout the career of an experienced Detroit personal injury lawyer, it is common to represent individuals who have sustained severe personal injury or died while on the job. In Michigan specifically, General Motors retirees have seen their worker’s compensation benefits reduced dramatically starting last month. According to state law, companies are allowed to reduce their worker’s compensation checks by the amount of that person’s disability pension. Although GM and UAW did not exercise the right for a number of years, the recent financial crisis has changed their tune.

General Motors wants to ensure that injured employees weren’t making more money injured than they did at their normal wage through social security pension, disability pension, and worker’s compensation benefits. As a result of the changes, over 1,800 injured Michigan workers saw a reduction in their injury benefits. Numerous people have been hurt repeatedly on the job and the changes have caused major problems. Michigan resident Dennis Cheek, 52, has been hurt twice while on the job and has broken his neck as a result. According to Cheek, he has lost up to $150 per month in benefits because of the change. This has drastically reduced the amount he makes each month–so much so that he is struggling to pay the mortgage, college educations for his children, and put food on the table. “If I pay just my home, my heat, and my retirement I’m done. I can’t buy any food, I can’t buy nothing.”

Worker’s compensation lawsuits are currently being filed to combat the change. Michigan State law doesn’t allow Social Security disability benefits to influence a reduction in worker’s compensation payments. The personal injury lawyers representing the injured worker’s concluded on this basis that, “…the (UAW) didn’t have the legal authority under federal labor law to make the change.”

Being injured on the job can have life changing consequences as seen by the example of Dennis Cheek. Not only does it affect your ability to make a living, it can put you at the mercy of your benefits and social security payments. Make sure you are not cheated your worker’s compensation benefits by contacting a hard-working and aggressive Detroit Personal Injury Attorney for representation immediately.