Top Minnesota Workers' Compensation Questions

What You Need to Know

What Is Workers' Compensation?

Workers’ compensation, also known as workers’ comp, is insurance that benefits employees who have suffered work-related injuries or illnesses. In Minnesota, workers’ compensation is mandatory for most employers and covers the following expenses for injured workers:

The program is designed to protect employees and employers by providing a “no-fault” system in which injured workers receive benefits regardless of who was at fault for the injury. If you have been injured on the job in Minnesota, it is essential to understand your rights under the state’s workers’ compensation laws.

Who Is Eligible to Receive Benefits?

To be eligible for workers’ compensation in Minnesota, you must: 

Are Contractors Covered?

Independent contractors and self-employed individuals are typically not covered for this benefit program, unless those individuals carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy covering themselves.

Am I Still Covered with a Preexisting Condition?

In Minnesota, workers’ compensation aims to offer benefits to workers injured on the job, without considering any pre-existing medical conditions. Nonetheless, obtaining workers’ compensation benefits can be more difficult if you have a pre-existing condition.

Can I Choose My Own Doctor?

Yes. You can and should choose your own doctor. In rare circumstances, your employer may participate in a certified managed care plan and your choice of physician will be limited to a physician associated with that plan. 

You do not have to see the doctor that your employer requests you see for an initial evaluation. If you agree to see your employer’s doctor, you could limit your options to change your treating doctor later, which can create significant implications for your case. 

What Is an IME and Is It Required?

Minnesota workers’ compensation law requires injured workers to attend an independent medical examination (IME) or independent psychological evaluation (IPE) if requested by the employer and at reasonable times thereafter upon the employer’s request. 

The examination must generally be scheduled at a location within 150 miles of the injured worker’s home address. The employer is required to pay reasonable travel expenses incurred by the employee in attending the IME or IPE including:

Failure to attend a scheduled IME or IPE could result in a discontinuance of ongoing workers’ compensation benefits. 

Can The Insurer Discontinue My Wage Loss Benefits?

Minnesota law allows employers and insurers to discontinue ongoing wage loss benefits if they believe they have a “reasonable basis” to do so. In order to discontinue wage loss benefits, the employer and insurer must file a Notice of Intention to Discontinue Workers’ Compensation Benefits (NOID) and serve it on the employee and the employee’s attorney (if there is one). 

During the administrative conference, a judge will hear the arguments of all parties and decide whether benefits should be discontinued or reinstated. 

It is strongly recommended that you retain an attorney at this point in the claim as it almost always leads to additional litigation and failure to follow proper legal procedure can have a permanent effect on an injured worker’s wage loss benefits. 

What Happens If My Medical Benefits Are Denied or Not Paid?

If the workers’ compensation insurer has denied all or some medical benefits, it is essential that you contact one of our workers’ compensation attorneys. 

As claims move forward, it is not unusual for insurers to start denying medical benefits such as:

Do I Need an Attorney If Workers’ Compensation Is Voluntarily Paying My Benefits?

Even if a workers’ compensation insurer is voluntarily paying your wage loss and medical benefits, it is still a good idea to consult with an attorney to ensure you are getting all of the benefits to which you are entitled. 

Therefore, having a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney on your case at the beginning will help you avoid mistakes and protect your claims moving forward. It will also mean that we will be prepared to immediately act on your behalf, if and when a dispute occurs. 

Are Psychological Injuries Covered By Workers’ Compensation?

Historically, the answer in Minnesota has been no. In order for a mental injury to be covered by Minnesota workers’ compensation, it would have to be tied to or caused by a physical injury. For example, if someone developed depression as a result of a compensable back injury, the depression could be covered. 

This means while diagnoses such as depression or anxiety may be debilitating and caused by your work, in Minnesota, employers do not have to pay workers’ compensation benefits for these conditions. 

The laws regarding PTSD claims are constantly evolving and changing, and therefore these claims are complicated.

Why Hire a Workers' Compensation Attorney?

The workers’ compensation attorneys at Meshbesher & Spence are experienced in handling Minnesota workers’ compensation claims. 

Appealing unfairly denied claims and receiving full and fair benefits can be a difficult process to go through for people unfamiliar with the claims system. Our attorneys will walk you through you claim with expertise and confidence. We know what to do when insurance companies use tactics to try and avoid paying benefits or limit payouts to injured workers. 

Employers and insurers may discourage you from retaining an attorney. However, they do not have your best interests in mind. 

Don't wait to reach out with questions. Trust our team to help you avoid mistakes and protect your benefits, so you get the compensation you deserve. 

How Much are Work Compensation Attorney Fees?

We always offer a free, no obligation consultation. It does not cost you anything to call us to get legal advice about your specific situation. 

The workers’ compensation attorneys at Meshbesher & Spence do not get paid until we successfully recover benefits for you. There are no upfront fees or hourly fees attributed to you. 

If we recover disputed benefits on your behalf, the contingency fee payable to us is 20% of the benefits recovered (for injuries on or after October 1, 2013). If we successfully recover medical or rehabilitation benefits for you, we can also recover non-contingent fees directly from the employer and insurer.

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