What benefits are provided?
Six types of benefits are provided under the Workers’ Compensation Act.
Temporary Total Disability
An injured Employee is entitled to total wage loss benefits if the Employee’s doctor restricts the Employee from work or the Employer cannot accommodate the Employee’s restrictions. Temporary total disability benefits are then payable at a rate of 2/3 of the injured Employee’s average weekly wage.
It is critical that the Employee’s average weekly wage is calculated correctly, or a significant underpayment may occur. There are separate rules for calculating an injured Employee’s average weekly wage depending upon whether they are regularly employed, irregularly employed, a seasonal worker or a construction worker.
If the Employee’s doctor releases the Employee to work either full time or part time and the Employer offers work, the Employee must generally attempt to return to work.
Temporary Partial Disability
Temporary partial disability is payable when the injured Employee has returned to work pursuant to doctor restrictions and is working at a wage loss. This can happen when the Employee has returned to work at reduced hours or a reduced hourly wage.
Temporary partial disability is paid at a rate of 2/3 of the difference between the injured Employee’s average weekly wage and the injured Employee’s current earnings.
Permanent Partial Disability
The Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Disability Schedules provide a monetary benefit for many injured Employees. The disability schedules provide specific ratings based upon the type of injury, medical treatment provided to the Employee, and/or loss of function. The Employee’s doctor provides his or her opinion relative to the Employee’s rating.
Due to the complexity of the schedules the Employee’s doctor often misinterprets the schedule. All Employees who sustain an injury resulting in a loss of function should receive a permanent partial disability rating.
Permanent Total Disability
If the injured Employee is unable to secure substantial/gainful employment as the result of his or her injury, in combination with the employees age, education, training and experience, the injured Employee may be entitled to permanent total disability benefits.
This type of claim is routinely disputed by Insurers. Injured Employees with this type of claim require expert legal representation.
Reasonable and Necessary Medical Expenses
The workers’ compensation Insurer is required to pay the injured Employee’s reasonable and necessary medical expenses to cure and relieve the Employee from the affects of the work injury. There are no co-pays or deductibles for the injured Employee. Out-of-pocket expenses for prescriptions or medical mileage to and from appointments are reimbursable.
All injured workers are entitled to a rehabilitation consultation with a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (QRC). If the injured worker is qualified, the worker will receive assistance with the medical management of his or her claim and return to work issues. You are entitled to a QRC of your choosing rather than one assigned by the insurance company.