Any full-time, gainfully employed person who is injured in the workplace can apply for workers compensation benefits. While not all who apply will receive a favorable decision, workers compensation is a vital resource that is available for those who meet all legal eligibility criteria and fill out the necessary paperwork. In Minnesota, workers have access to certain additional rights, as discussed below.
The Right to Appeal a Denied Workers Compensation Case
When you first apply for workers compensation in Minnesota, it is up to the insurance provider to either approve or deny your claim. There will always be a reason provided for the denial of a workers compensation claim, so use that information to start your appeal through the court system. Through the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, you can start the appeals process and get an independent third party to weigh-in. Most disputed workers compensation claims are rectified at this point. If for some reason your valid workers compensation claim in Minnesota has still been denied, then the Office of Administrative Hearings may be of assistance. Consider hiring an attorney to help you receive a favorable judgement through the court appeals process.
The Right to Participate in Available Occupational Retraining Programs
If you receive workers compensation benefits, then it is a fact that you were injured in the workplace. As such, you are probably hoping to go back to work and resume making about the same amount of money. Unfortunately, people sometimes become limited on what job-related duties they can perform after a serious injury. Retraining programs related to the position you had before being injured can help you to transition back into the workplace. These retraining programs are available to anyone who needs them.
You Have the Right to Request a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant
In Minnesota, everyone who is approved to receive workers compensation benefits also gets access to a qualified rehabilitation consultant. In a nutshell, a qualified rehabilitation consultant is paid by your employer and workers compensation insurer to help you go back to work. They are trained to analyze the data and come to a decision regarding your ability to go to work, when that should occur, and whether or not you can go back to the same position. Not only can you get a qualified rehabilitation consultant, but you can choose the one that you want to partner with. Either let your employer know who you want to work with directly, or send your own pick within 60 days of their choosing a qualified rehabilitation consultant for you.
Depending on the type of injury you sustained and the kind of workers compensation benefits you applied for, you may be entitled to years of financial benefits. At some point, all workers compensation beneficiaries in Minnesota are phased out of receiving payments. This is why knowing your rights and making use of all resources that will help you return to work is important. During the time that you are recuperating, make up a plan that will help you to keep your finances stable well into the future.