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Workers' Compensation: Michigan

Workers' Compensation requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Daniel O'Brien, Fisher Phillips.


  • All employers with three or more part-time or full-time employees must carry workers' compensation insurance, with limited exceptions. See Covered Employers.
  • Most individuals who work for a covered employer are considered employees and are protected by workers' compensation. However, the law specifically exempts certain types of employees from coverage. See Covered Employees.
  • Injuries or occupational illnesses that arise out of and in the course of employment are considered compensable. Michigan has a strict definition for "disability," however, which the employee must satisfy before collecting benefits. See Compensable Injuries.
  • An employer may not be liable for certain types of injuries incurred under specific circumstances. See Employer Defenses to Workers' Compensation Claims.
  • Workers' compensation pays for all reasonable medical claims. Injured workers must be initially treated by a physician selected by the employer. Employers or their insurance carriers must provide for medical care within a specific period of time. See Medical Benefits.
  • Employees who lose wages due to workplace injuries are eligible to receive partial payment. State law clearly defines the difference between "total disability" and "partial disability" for purposes of compensation level. See Other Benefits.
  • Employers engaged in construction projects may be liable for safety support. See Safety.
  • All injuries must be reported in a timely manner; otherwise the claimant may be denied benefits. Michigan also requires employees who seek to make claims to satisfy a heavy evidentiary burden. See Claims Procedure.
  • Employers are barred from retaliating against employees who file workers' compensation claims. See Retaliation and Interference.
  • Disputed claims may be appealed. See Administrative Hearings and Court Proceedings.