When you’ve been hurt on the job, the last thing you want to have to worry about is where your next paycheck will be coming from. Bills don’t take vacation time, unfortunately, and on top of being physically injured, these worries can contribute to emotional distress and prolong your healing time.
We want to help you find the answers you’re looking for about workers’ compensation, so here are some of the most frequently asked questions according to Minnesota’s Department of Labor and Industry:
What do I need to do if I’m hurt on the job?
If your injury is an emergency, seek medical attention first. At the soonest opportunity, notify your employer. They will need to fill out a First Report of Injury form and will need details about how you got hurt, and what your injuries are.
If I am filing a workers’ comp claim, can I use any of my accrued paid time-off to cover my loss of wages?
No, you cannot use any other type of time-off for benefits payment. When filing a workers’ comp claim, you will receive benefits only through that claim. The accrual of your personal paid time-off may also be affected while you are out with your injury.
Is my employer required to carry workers’ compensation insurance?
Yes. There are only a few exceptions to this requirement, and they can be found here.
What kind of payments or benefits may I receive if I win my claim?
You may win payment for your lost wages, compensation for the loss of use of a limb, and vocational rehabilitation. You may also be entitled to medical benefits.
What type of medical care is covered by workers’ comp?
Your employer is required to cover all necessary medical treatment, and supplies, related to your injury. This may include such treatments as psychological treatment as well as surgical treatment.
Do I have to see a doctor other than my own?
Typically you can receive medical care through your family physician. In some instances, however, your employer may dictate a particular doctor or pharmacy that is to be used, but again, this is only under certain circumstances.
What if my medical benefits are denied?
The answer to this question depends on whether or not the insurer has admitted any liability to your claim or not. If they have admitted liability, you should have received some form of benefits from your workers’ comp claim. In this instance, you may need to file a Medical Request form. It is advisable to speak with an attorney about filing this form to see if, given your situation, it would be best to have the attorney file it on your behalf. In the case where the insurer has never paid any benefits on your claim, and liability was never admitted, you are ineligible to file the Medical Request form.
Is there a reason my checks are always late?
Your checks are not supposed to be late. If you are repeatedly receiving them late, this behavior needs to be looked into. You can file a request to have your case reviewed by someone in the Department of Labor’s Compliance, Records and Training division. If you checks are constantly arriving late, there are penalties that may be assessed to deter this behavior.
What do I do if my benefits stop?
If your employer seeks to discontinue your workers’ comp benefits, they must first send you a Notice of Intention to Discontinue Benefits form. (To see the circumstances in which the employer is allowed to seek to stop your benefits, please review page 8 of An Employee’s Guide to the Minnesota’s Workers’ Compensation System.) This allows you the chance to dispute the discontinuance. Should your benefits stop and you have not received this form, you need to contact the insurance company that sends out your check. Make sure with them whether your check was or was not sent out. If it was not sent out (discontinued), and you were not given the proper notice, you will have to call the Office of Administrative Hearings at (651) 361-7901. You only have 40 days to request a conference if you were planning on disputing the discontinuance, so bear in mind that this is a time-sensitive matter. If you are served with a Notice of Intent to Discontinue Benefits, you only have 12 calendar days to request a conference.
If you are looking to file a workers’ comp claim, and would like assistance, please contact us. We can review your case for free and talk with you about the best course of action for your particular circumstance.