Our blog generally contains information regarding workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania, since that is the only type of case we handle. It is interesting, however, for our readers to learn about how the workers’ compensation systems in other States compare to that in PA. To that end, we are proud to present a guest blog from Alex Berman, Esquire, who practices workers’ compensation law in MI:
Guest Blog Post: Beware The Labor Market Survey
I want to thank Glenn Neiman for the opportunity to write today’s blog post. It’s always a pleasure to speak with an attorney who has devoted his practice to helping people who are injured at work.
While Pennsylvania and Michigan have different workers’ comp systems, we can still learn from each other. Here is some information about wage loss benefits and why you should watch out for the “Labor Market Survey.”
Both Pennsylvania and Michigan provide wage loss benefits to a person who is injured on the job. The amount and duration will depend upon individual circumstances. One important similarity is the use of vocational data to cut-off the payment of benefits.
Glenn tells me that Pennsylvania law allows an insurance company to reduce or stop ongoing benefits by showing that work is available. It does not matter whether the person is actually earning these wages. This is similar to what occurs in Michigan and presents serious challenges for our clients.
Insurance companies hire vocational counselors to complete Labor Market Surveys. These reports examine a specific geographical area and determine if jobs exist taking into consideration a person’s restrictions, qualifications, and training. Controversy arises when the insurance company attempts to use the Labor Market Survey in an unfair way. A person may be told that he or she can work in an occupation never performed before. Some jobs might pay less than advertised or not really exist.
I tell my clients to watch out for certain red flags. Receiving a notice to meet with a vocational counselor is one of those warning signs. You should call an experienced workers’ comp attorney if this occurs. You can challenge an unfair Labor Market Survey with your own vocational data. You can also present evidence of a good faith job search to demonstrate that work is not reasonably available.
– Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Alex has helped countless people obtain workers comp benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case. He can be reached toll-free at (855) 221-COMP.