Workers’ Compensation At-A-Glance
Helps you return to work as soon as reasonably possible:
- Returns you, as closely as possible, to your pre-injury income
- Provides compensation for permanent loss of function or the inability to earn an income
- Pays part of your wage loss
- Pays for all reasonable medical and vocational rehabilitation costs
- Pays benefits to dependents for a work-related death
Workers’ compensation covers all physical injuries and diseases that are caused, or made worse, by your job duties or work environment. While back injuries are the most common workplace affliction in Minnesota, others run the gamut from dismemberment and death to illness such as respiratory disease or repetitive motion injuries.
Normally your employer’s work comp insurance company will cover medical bills, lost wages, disability and job retraining necessary as a result of a work injury. There’s no need to prove that your employer is at fault - or that you are not at fault - to receive work comp benefits.
You Are Hurt ... Now What?
1. Don’t wait! Report the injury to your supervisor immediately. Your rights may be jeopardized if you don’t report the injury within statutory deadlines.
2. Get medical care ASAP. Then inform your employer of your medical condition and date of return.
3. Your employer must file a First Report of Injury. Look for a copy from the insurance company as proof that your claim was properly filed.
4. Benefits will be paid (or denied) within 14 days.
What Are Your Benefits?
What you get depends on the severity of your injury and the amount of time you are away from work. At a minimum, all reasonable medical bills will be covered including chiropractic and physical therapy sessions. Here’s a quick benefits summary:
If you miss work temporarily ...
Then you receive two-thirds of your wage loss for up to 130 weeks. This is called Temporary Total Disability (TTD), and it kicks in if you miss more than three days of work. However, there is a maximum on this benefit that is currently 102% of the statewide average weekly wage (published every December 31 of the proceeding year}.
If you return at a lower wage ...
You receive two-thirds of the difference between your old wage and new wage for up to 225 weeks.
If your injury is permanent ...
You receive Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) payments when your physician assigns a disability rating to your injury.
If you never return to work ...
You receive two-thirds of your weekly wages with a minimum of 65 percent of the statewide average weekly wage. Referred to as Permanent Total Disability (PTD), this benefit is capped at the same upper dollar limit as Temporary Total Disability benefits, but is reduced by any social security disability benefits, usually payable to age 67.
If a worker is killed on the job ...
His or her dependents may also be eligible for wage-loss, burial expenses and other benefits. There is a minimum death benefit of $60,000.
If you need help going back to work ...
There are benefits available. First have your doctor document any work restrictions you might have. Your company should find a job for you that fits those restrictions and pays close to your old wage. In some cases, you may need vocational rehabilitation services provided by a vocational caseworker (QRC) to assist you in returning to work. You may be entitled to retraining.
What If Something Goes Wrong?
Your company’s insurer may refuse to pay by disputing the seriousness of your injury or by saying it isn't job-related. An employer may try to prevent you from filing your claim, or try to retaliate if you do. Your employer might not even have workers’ comp insurance. Here’s what you do:
- If you are already represented, call your attorney and follow his or her advice.
- If you are not represented, call the claims adjuster. Many problems can be handled over the telephone.
- Call SiebenCarey if you can't solve the dispute. If it appears that you don't need an attorney, we will direct you to the appropriate resource free of charge.
If you need representation, go with one of our experienced workers' comp attorneys. They'll help you;
- Document the cause and extent of your job-related health problem
- Deal with your company and its insurance carrier
- Select health professionals and rehabilitation consultants who specialize in your situation
- Prepare for arbitration and other proceedings
- Get all of the benefits you deserve
- Save copies of all letters, forms, compensation checks and medical bills.
- Keep track of your mileage for vocational, rehabilitation and medical visits.
- Save notes of phone conversations.
- Put your social security numbers and date of injury on all papers and forms sent to the Department of Labor and Industry.
- Stay in touch with your employer on your progress and plans to return to work.
Work Comp Lawyers Standing By