Thursday, February 15, 2018

Do I Need Work Restrictions to Make a Workers' Compensation Claim?

The simple answer is yes.

Following a work injury, it is of utmost importance that you seek medical treatment. In a typical Minnesota workers' compensation case, an employee will go to the emergency room or urgent care for an evaluation and will be given work restrictions at that time. Work restrictions can be as restrictive as "no work at all" until an employee can be evaluated by a specialist or have an MRI completed. Work restrictions may also be as simple as "no lifting more than 50 pounds." Once you receive work restrictions, you must provide documentation of these restrictions to your human resources department or supervisor immediately.

When you see your doctor following a work injury, it is very important that you inform your doctor that you sustained an injury at work and how the injury occurred. Tell the truth and be consistent with what you tell your doctors. If you are inconsistent in your narrative of how the injury occurred, the workers' compensation insurer may try to deny the claim on this basis.

At some point, your treating physicians may determine that you can return back to full-duty work and release you back to work without formal physical restrictions. Your doctor may think that he's doing you a favor in allowing you to return to work; however, unless your injury was mild or temporary in nature, your treating physician releasing you to return to work without restrictions can be problematic for your workers' compensation claim, in addition to your overall physical well-being.

What are my employer's responsibilities?

When you have restrictions relating to your work injury, your doctor will document the work injury and provide you with restrictions. An employer cannot fire you for having work restrictions and they cannot force you to work outside the scope of your physical restrictions. You may feel pressured by the employer to ask your doctor to lift your physical restrictions, but this could make the injury worse or cause re-injury. In addition, as a practical matter, returning to work without restrictions (even though you remain injured) puts you in a vulnerable position because if you are fired for being unable to perform your job, you will not be entitled to ongoing wage loss benefits. You need physical restrictions to receive wage loss benefits under the Minnesota Worker's Compensation Act.

If you've sustained a work-related injury and have work restrictions, an employer must either accommodate your restrictions in your current position, find a light duty position within your physical restrictions, or provide vocational rehabilitation and training if you are unable to work in your previous position.

Do I have to accept a light duty job?

When you have been injured at work and are unable to perform all the duties of your position, employers will often offer you light duty work. To be acceptable, this work must be within the physical restrictions issued to you by your doctor. If the light duty position pays less, or provides you with fewer hours, you will be entitled to a wage loss benefit known as temporary partial disability (TPD). The purpose of temporary partial disability is to return you to the economic status that you enjoyed before sustaining an injury on the job, and as such, it pays you the difference between what you were making at the time of the injury and what you are making in the light duty position.

Every light duty job is different. It is very important that you do not turn down or refuse a light duty job offer until you speak with an attorney. An experienced attorney will be able to analyze the job offer and determine whether it is physically and economically suitable. If it is, your safest course of action would be to accept the light duty position. If you do not, you run the risk of the workers' compensation insurer terminating your ongoing wage loss benefits.

Don't wait to get an attorney involved if you have a Minnesota workers' compensation claim. The process can be complex and you want to be sure you receive the full benefits to which you are entitled. Contact Meuser Law Office, P.A. for a free no-obligation consultation and claim evaluation. At Meuser Law Office, P.A. we keep our clients informed of the process as well as what to expect each step of the way. Call us today at 1-877-746-5680.

Ashley Biermannby Ashley Biermann
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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Is My PTSD Still Compensable if Caused by Numerous Traumatic Events?

Under the Minnesota Worker's Compensation Act, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be characterized as a personal injury or as an occupational disease. Minn. Stat. §176.011, subd. 15(a). PTSD may develop as a result of exposure to a traumatic event or multiple traumatic events, which cause a person's capacity to cope with stress to be overwhelmed and clinically disabling. Particularly in cases involving law enforcement or firefighters, a claimant's PTSD diagnosis cannot be tied to one particular event; rather, each new traumatic event compound stress until the stress becomes psychologically and physiologically disabling.

The Minnesota Workers' Compensation Act defines PTSD as "the condition as described in the most recently published edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association." Minn. Stat. 176,011, subd. 15(d). All the parties agree that the DSM-V is the most recently published edition of the DSM by the American Psychological Association. The statute requires psychiatrists, psychologists, and the court to use the DSM-V in determining whether an employee suffers from compensable PTSD.

The DSM-V explicitly states that PTSD may develop from an event or multiple events, noting that a person may witness "event(s)" as it occurs to others and "experiencing repeated" exposures, specifically citing police officers performing job duties involving witnessing repeated trauma to others. (DSM p. 271). Based upon the plain language of the DSM-V, examinees are not required to tie their symptoms to a single traumatic event. If this were the intention of the American Psychiatric Association, the authors would have written "traumatic event" and not "traumatic event(s)." (DSM-V at 271-72). Prong 4 under Criteria A of the DSM-V also demonstrates that medical professionals must examine multiple traumatic events. If an examinee qualifies only under the aversive details prong then they, by definition, would be referring to many or several incidents with regard to his or her symptoms listed in Criteria B-E because the fourth prong refers to repeated exposure. 

Unfortunately, insurers use "independent psychological examiners" or "IPEs," who are paid experts hired to find that you do not suffer from PTSD and if you do suffer from a psychological condition, the condition is not PTSD and is caused by non-work-related activities.

Typically, IPEs exclude employees from a PTSD diagnoses by attempting to circumvent the explicit text of the DSM-V by imposing additional requirements. An IPE's personal interpretation of how physicians should diagnose PTSD is above and beyond what the Minnesota legislature requires in the statute as well as the actual authors of the DSM-V.

IPEs may use the CAP-5, a structure interview that mirrors the symptoms described in the DSM-5. Physicians use the CAPS-5 to track fluctuations in PTSD symptoms, for research and to determine if treatment is working. IPEs may limit the CAPS-5 interview is limited to several of an employee's "worst" traumatic events and only inquire of symptoms within the past 30 days. The CAPS-5 has a few different versions, the lifetime and the "current" version, which examines reported symptoms within the past 30 days. The DSM-V does not limit reported symptoms to a set time frame, unlike the CAPS-5. (DSM-V at 271-280).

IPEs may also then creatively interpret psychometric testing to exclude claimants from a PTSD diagnosis. The MMPI-2 and the MMPI-2-RF are not diagnostic tools are not required by the DSM-V. As much as both the legal and scientific community would desire a brain scan or a blood test to check for PTSD or any other mental health disorder, that's simply not possible. Additionally, the MMPI-2 is the only test that contains a scale specially tailored to examine the likelihood of PTSD; yet, IPEs may use the MMPI-2 RF that does not contain that scale.

If you believe you or someone you love suffers from work-related PTSD, contact the experienced attorneys at Meuser Law Office, P.A. for a free, no-obligation intensive case consultation. You may be entitled to thousands of dollars in benefits from PERA/MSRS, or under the Minnesota Workers' Compensation Act. Call us today at 1-877-746-5680.

Mary Beth Boyceby Mary Beth
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Friday, February 2, 2018

What Can I Expect to Receive in a Workers' Compensation Settlement?

A question often asked by clients when meeting for the first time is "how much is my claim worth?" While there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to estimating the value of a Minnesota workers' compensation claim, there are a variety of factors in every claim that help determine a fair settlement value or range.

1. How long have you been receiving wage loss benefits?

Most wage loss benefits in the workers' compensation system have temporal caps. For example, you can only receive 130 weeks of temporary total disability benefits (TTD) for injuries occurring on or after October 1, 2013. In addition, you can only receive 225 weeks of temporary partial wage loss benefits (TPD) or approximately four and a half years. Because these wage loss benefits are capped, the number of weeks you have received benefits will affect the value of a Minnesota workers' compensation claim.

2. Average weekly wage, i.e., how much were you earning on your date of injury?

If the injured person is a high wage earner, the value of the claim will be greater than someone earning a lower wage. The average weekly wage for a claim is calculated based upon average earnings for the six months preceding the date of injury. As such, it is important to have an accurate average weekly wage calculation and to be using the most recent date of injury to ensure the greatest possible settlement from workers' compensation is received.

3. Did the insurer accept or deny your workers' compensation claim?

When a workers' compensation claim is accepted by the insurer, you generally have a stronger position going into a settlement conference or mediation. This is true because many times the insurer is paying the employee ongoing benefits. If your claim is accepted, there will still be a dispute with the insurer with regard to the "nature and extent" of the injury and the amount of the benefits owed but the insurer has admitted responsibility for the injury when a claim is accepted.

On the other hand, if a claim is denied and litigation is pending, the insurance company knows that there is a chance that they will not have to pay anything for the claim. If you go to court, there is a chance the insurance company will win, and this is factored into the insurance company's exposure analysis for your claim. For example, let's say you have a 50% chance of winning your claim. The insurance company will typically look at the overall exposure for your claim, calculate how much you would receive if your case went to hearing and we won on each of the claims then reduce that amount by 50%, (i.e., the estimated chance of success for the claim).

4. Did you sustain a permanent or temporary injury? 

This concept is relatively straightforward. If you sustained a serious injury and are issued permanent restrictions, the insurance company will understand that you will likely collect most, if not all, of your wage loss benefits. In addition, you will likely be entitled to a benefit known as permanent partial disability (PPD) for the loss of use or functioning of the affected body part. This benefit is not available to employees that have sustained minor injuries. Conversely, if you sustained a relatively minor injury, the claim will likely have a limited settlement value because the injured person is expected to make a full recovery and return to the date of injury employer at full wage earnings.

5. How strong is your medical support?

If there is medical support from a treating physician, linking the injured individual's current condition to a work-injury, the claim tends to be stronger. This is especially true if the treating physician is an experienced, well-respected specialist, such as an orthopedic surgeon, in the relevant area. Remember, the burden of proof in a workers' compensation claim is on the employee. This means that the injured employee is responsible for providing medical evidence to support the claims if the matter goes before a judge. As such, if a claims adjuster or a defense attorney gets a persuasive narrative report from a treating physician that supports your claims, they will understand that you will be much more likely to be successful at hearing, which adds value to your claim.

6. Who is representing you?

If you choose to represent yourself, you will be at a serious disadvantage when it comes to settling your claims. Minnesota workers' compensation is a complex, confusing area of the law and you will not know whether you are getting all the benefits to which you are entitled unless you have an experienced workers' compensation attorney. In addition, your employer will be represented by a claims adjuster or attorney that has significant experience in the area and they will not be looking out for your best interests.

If you are thinking about settling your Minnesota workers' compensation claim, it is of utmost importance that you check with a workers' compensation attorney before you do. This is especially true if you are a police officer or firefighter and also entitled to PERA or MSRS benefits because there are certain, applicable offset provisions that will apply to any workers' compensation settlement. A wrong decision could cost you thousands of dollars. Contact Meuser Law Office, P.A. for a free no-obligation consultation and claim evaluation. At Meuser Law Office, P.A. we keep our clients informed of the process as well as what to expect each step of the way. Call us today at 1-877-746-5680.

Ashley Biermannby Ashley Biermann
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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Meuser Law Attorneys Speak to Burnsville Police Officers and Firefighters

We are pleased to share that Ron Meuser, Jennifer Yackley, Mary Beth Boyce and Ashley Biermann of Meuser Law Office, P.A. were invited recently to speak to the City of Burnsville police officers, firefighters and HR Generalists. Ron and his team of experienced attorneys were asked to educate the group of first responders and HR Generalists on the basics of PERA disability, Minnesota work comp, as well as other benefits available in the event an injury occurs in the line of duty.

Once combined, Burnsville's police and fire departments have been operating since 1981 as individual units with the shared commitment to the preservation of life, safety and protection of property for the city's residents, business owners, and visitors. Although highly trained in safety measures to not only keep the public safe, but also the city's first responders as well, injuries do occur. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, police officers are four times more likely to be injured on the job than other occupations. The types of injuries to firefighters, such as cancer, are growing as well according to the National Fire Protection Agencies. The City of Burnsville understands the increased danger the police officers and firefighters face each day and want to ensure their first responders know what steps to take when an injury happens to ensure they receive the full benefits they are entitled, including continuation of health insurance and PTSD.

Ron, Jen, Mary Beth and Ashley met with the entire group and presented an overview and basic information. The attorneys went more in depth with the 20 police officers and 10 firefighters in attendance after the chiefs and HR Generalists exited the presentation. The following topics and others were discussed:
Discussion included the types of benefits available to first responders who are injured in the line of duty, and information regarding post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) including the new workers' compensation rules that govern PTSD claims, as well as complex timing and coordination rules that apply specifically to Minnesota's peace officers who receive Duty Disability and workers' compensation benefits.

Meuser Law Office, P.A. is one of the few workers' compensation law firms in the state of Minnesota that also handles PERA and MSRS disability claims. We've successfully represented hundreds of Minnesota's first responders for both work comp and PERA/MSRS disability claims. Sitting down with us to learn more about your potential claim is a lot like financial planning. We can explain what benefits you may be eligible for and make recommendations to you in terms of how to best protect your rights to those benefits. The knowledgeable attorneys at Meuser Law Office, P.A. can help the often-complex process easier to navigate.

Why choose Meuser Law Office, P.A. for your PERA, workers' compensation and personal injury representation? The difference in experience between Meuser Law and an attorney who isn't as versed in this area of the law can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars to your claim. Contact us today for a free no-obligation consultation by calling 1-877-746-5680. Ron Meuser and the attorneys at Meuser Law Office, P.A. are available to speak at ANY police or fire department in Minnesota to educate and inform on the valuable information and ensure injured first responders are receiving the benefits to which they are entitled.

Ron Meuserby Ron Meuser
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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Continuation of Health Insurance Benefits for Disabled Minnesota Firefighters and Police Officers

In addition to workers’ compensation and PERA disability benefits, Minnesota’s police officers and firefighters who suffer disabling injuries while performing inherently dangerous duties are also eligible for continued health insurance coverage.

Minnesota statute § 299A.465 requires that an employer of a police officer or firefighter who has been awarded PERA Duty Disability benefits continue to pay their share of the police officer or firefighter’s health insurance premiums until the officer or firefighter reaches age 65. If the officer or firefighter’s dependents had coverage through the employer at the time of the officer or fighter’s injury, the employer must also continue to pay its share of the insurance premiums for those dependents.

In plain English, that means that if you are a Minnesota police officer or firefighter, and you suffer a career-ending injury that was incurred while you were performing inherently dangerous duties, your employer has to continue to offer you the same health insurance and continue to pay their share of the premium, as though you remained on the payroll through age 65.

Although this statute seems pretty straight-forward, Meuser Law Office, P.A. has seen a huge increase in the frequency of litigation on these claims. Given the rising costs of health insurance, more and more employers are trying to deny these types of claims, and we are seeing more and more situations where it isn’t 100% clear how this statute should apply.

Here are a few of the situations the attorneys at Meuser Law Office, P.A. have seen recently and how the courts have been deciding these issues. Notably, we are seeing different courts arrive at different conclusions.

Employer Contested Case Hearings

After an officer or firefighter is awarded PERA Duty Disability benefits, an employer has the right to “appeal” that determination by requesting a Contested Case Hearing at the Office of Administrative Hearings in front of a neutral Administrative Law Judge within 60 days of notice of PERA’s Duty Disability approval. Usually “appeals” in this context are based on an employer’s argument that the police officer or firefighter doesn’t meet the Duty Disability criteria for one reason or another. We have litigated several of these cases to a favorable conclusion in front of an Administrative Law Judge, and we have settled several other contested cases for a lump sum cash settlement. A Contested Case Hearing is like an informal trial, at which evidence and testimony will be submitted, and the Administrative Law Judge makes a decision as to whether the officer or firefighter is eligible for benefits. This is considered a final determination, and either side can appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Our office recently had an interesting case involving two employers. Arguably, the officer’s post-traumatic stress disorder was caused by his traumatic exposures at two different law enforcement agencies, and arguably, both are partially responsible for his health insurance coverage. One employer requested a Contested Case Hearing, and the other did not. The employer who did not request a Contested Case Hearing filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, arguing that he had waived his right to future health insurance coverage via Minn. Stat. § 299A.465 because he had signed an employment law release in exchange for a severance when he left that department. The Court disagreed. In fact, the Court held that employer had no right to even contest this officer’s eligibility health insurance coverage since it failed to request a Contested Case Hearing within the statutory time frame.

Suing an Employer in District Court

Even though Minn. Stat. § 299A.465 says that an employer has to request a Contested Case Hearing within 60 days of PERA’s notice of approval for Duty Disability benefits, often employers don’t do that. Instead, they admit that the disabled officer or firefighter meets the eligibility requirements for Duty Disability, but they argue that the disabled officer or firefighter is ineligible for Continued Health Insurance benefits for other reasons. Usually, these cases must then be sued out in district court. We have a couple cases currently pending in district court involving these issues, and we’ve been able to settle a few cases as well. Usually, the issues involved in cases in district court revolve around whether the disabled officer or firefighter is barred from health insurance because of a gap in coverage, because they were covered as a dependent on a spouse’s policy, or because they waived coverage in exchange for a cash benefit.

Cases Involving More Than One Employer

As mentioned, we now have a handful of cases involving multiple employers. Two cases involved post-traumatic stress disorder that was caused by an officer’s exposure to traumatic events at two different agencies, and a third case involved an officer who suffered a back injury that was re-injured with a different agency. In one of the post-traumatic stress disorder cases, notwithstanding both employers’ arguments to the contrary, the Administrative Law Judge held that even though Minn. Stat. § 299A.465 doesn’t explicitly address that situation, that a court may equitably apportion responsibility for continued health insurance coverage to two or more employers who may both be responsible for the officer’s underlying disabling condition. The second post-traumatic stress disorder case is still in litigation. On the case involving the back injury, even though two employers were both arguably responsible for the officer’s back injury, his most recent employer voluntarily agreed to pay his ongoing health insurance coverage.

Cash Incentive Insurance Waivers

With ever-rising health insurance costs, we are seeing litigation involving cash incentive waiver plans much more frequently because we are seeing more and more public employers offering such plans. Employers can offer a variety of different types of cash waiver plans, but the concept is that an officer or firefighter waives health insurance coverage through their public employer in exchange for a monthly, quarterly, or annual cash benefit. For example, an officer may have the option of waiving health insurance coverage through his employer, go on his spouse’s family plan as a dependent, and receive $250 per month from his employer as an incentive for waiving coverage. Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? Well, not necessarily. In almost every case we have seen with a cash waiver plan, the employer has argued that the officer or firefighter is ineligible for health insurance benefits. What if that officer or firefighter’s spouse loses his or her job and insurance? What if the officer or firefighter goes through a divorce or their spouse dies? What if the officer or firefighter’s spouse retires? Who pays for that officer or firefighter’s insurance?

At this point, it is unclear. We have had different results in different courts on this issue. There is a Court of Appeals case our office handled a few years ago which found that a disabled firefighter who was a dependent on his spouse’s insurance policy was eligible for Continued Health Insurance Benefits in accordance with Minn. Stat. § 299A.465, even though he was not individually covered on the city’s health insurance plan.

We also recently had an Administrative Law case where the officer had elected to waive his coverage in exchange for cash benefit, and he was a dependent on his wife’s family policy. The employer argued that he gave up his right to benefits under Minn. Stat. § 299A.465 because he accepted the cash benefit and waived coverage. The court disagreed, holding that the employer was required to continue to offer him coverage.

We currently have a case in District Court involving three officers/firefighters from the same employer that all elected the cash waiver plan offered by their employer. We expect that this case will go to the Minnesota Court of Appeals to hopefully definitively answer whether an employer is required to “continue” health insurance for a disabled officer or firefighter who waived coverage.

Occasionally run into other types of cases involving disputes over exactly what benefits are provided by Minn. Stat. § 299A.465, including a case involving a cash incentive for waiver of family coverage, cases involving HSA contributions, and cases involving reimbursement for COBRA coverage.

This is a very complex and evolving area of law. If you are a Minnesota police officer or firefighter with questions about your rights under Minn. Stat. § 299A.465, we are happy to help.

There are a variety of benefits available for Minnesota’s disabled police officers and firefighters, including, but not limited to, workers’ compensation benefits, PERA disability benefits, Continuation of Health Insurance benefits, and third-party liability claims. Contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Meuser Law Office, P.A. to learn more about your rights. Call us today at 1-877-746-5680.

Jennifer Yackleyby Jen Yackley
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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Can I Be Fired for Reporting a Work Injury?

The short answer is no, not legally. Technically, an employer can terminate you for any reason, legal or not, but there is recourse that can be taken if you are fired or threatened with termination after sustaining an injury at work.

An employer must fill out a First Report of Injury after you report a work injury however, despite completing and filing this form, an employer may still doubt your veracity and the legitimacy of your injury claim. If this belief is communicated to the Minnesota workers’ compensation insurer, your claim may be denied. After the denial, the employer may feel justified in disciplining or firing you for filing a “false claim.”

Minnesota law does not allow an employer from discharging or threatening to discharge an employee for seeking workers' compensation benefits or in any manner intentionally obstructing an employee seeking workers’ compensation benefits. This provision allows an injured worker to bring a civil claim against his employer if the employee was fired or obstructed from bringing a workers’ compensation claim. In practice, these actions are fairly uncommon but they’re also essential. The action acts as a check against employers, allowing employees to recover the workers’ compensation benefits that they would have received if not for the unlawful interference of their employer.

This law does not mean that an employee can never be fired legally after sustaining a work-related injury. For example, if an employee already has an extensive history of absenteeism and then misses several days from work after a work injury without providing restrictions from his doctor, the employee may be terminated through the process set out in the employer’s standard policy. If your employer terminates you after filing a work injury and does not follow its standard policy, does not assist you in filing for workers’ compensation benefits, or does not allow you a reasonable opportunity to seek medical treatment, you may be able to bring a successful retaliation claim.

Furthermore, with regard to “false claims,” the employer may be able to fire you for reporting what they believe to be a false workers’ compensation claim. This, however, is risky for the employer because the court seems to be asking whether the employer had a “reasonable belief” of claim falsification. What is a reasonable belief of claim falsification? Again, it depends, but the consensus seems to be that the employer must conduct a thorough investigation of the employee’s allegation of work-related injury. In completing this investigation, the court looks at whether the employer conducted a detailed and fair investigation, and was not simply results oriented. It also should make sure that any such investigation is complete and not results oriented.

It is also worth noting that practical concerns influence employers with regard to discharging employees. If an employee’s claim is admitted, the employer and insurer will be on the hook for ongoing wage loss benefits, if they choose to terminate you. This results in a very real financial incentive for employers to find work for you after sustaining a work injury. This is still true, but to a lesser extent, for denied claims. Even if your claim is denied by the workers’ compensation insurer, you’re still able to fight for the benefits the insurer should have paid you and establish ongoing workers’ compensation payments from the date of termination forward.

Contact Meuser Law Office, P.A. for a free, no-obligation case evaluation and consultation. The knowledgeable attorneys at Meuser Law Office, P.A. take the time with each client to help determine which benefits under the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act you are entitled. Call us today at 877-746-5680.

Ashley Biermannby Ashley Biermann
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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Is My Employer Required To Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Employers in Minnesota are mandated to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees under Minnesota Statute §176.181, subdivision 2. The legislature wants to ensure that injured workers have access to recovery if he or she suffers an injury on the job. Employees are generally defined as a person who performs services for another for hire. Employees include minors, part-time workers and non-U.S. citizens. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry is responsible for work comp insurance in Minnesota.

Under Minnesota Statute §176.041 in certain circumstances some types of employers are not required to carry work comp insurance. These types of employers include but are not limited to:
  • Family farm employees (if paid less than $8,000 in cash wages over the last year)
  • Independent contractors
  • Household workers
  • LLC or limited liability companies
  • Closely held corporations
  • Nonprofit associations
However, these types of employers may still elect to carry work comp insurance coverage and many do, so if you work for one do not assume they do not carry work comp insurance. You may check on the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s website at to search whether your employer carries a policy. Employers are also required to post a Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Employee Rights and Responsibilities poster in a conspicuous location for its employees. The poster must show the employer’s insurance carrier information, including a name and phone number.

If you believe that a business does not have workers’ compensation coverage you may report that company to the Department of Labor and Industry’s Special Compensation Fund by email or by phone at 651-284-5453.

If the employer is required to carry work comp insurance and fails to do so, injured employees may still receive benefits from the Minnesota Special Compensation Fund under Minnesota Statute §176.129. The Minnesota Special Compensation Fund may then receive reimbursement from the employer for benefits paid to the injured worker plus monetary penalties. The Minnesota Special Compensation Fund also administers Supplementary Benefits, which are a complicated specific type of wage loss benefit that may affect an injured worker who was injured before 1990. The Special Compensation fund also investigates whether the employer has coverage and steps in the place of the employer, if the employer failed to maintain coverage.

Some employers are self-insured as well, and thus responsible for paying out workers’ compensation claims. Generally large public entities are self-insured, such as the State of Minnesota or the City of St. Paul. The Minnesota Commerce Department must issue its approval for an employer to be self-insured for the purposes of workers’ compensation. The employer must prove its financial capability to be self-insured.

If you have sustained an injury in the course and scope of your employment in the State of Minnesota, contact Meuser Law Office, P.A. for a free no-obligation case consultation. Don’t wait to get an attorney involved if you have a Minnesota workers’ compensation claim. The process can be complex, but the knowledgeable attorneys at Meuser Law Office, P.A. keep our clients informed of the process as well as what to expect each step of the way. We take the time with each client to help determine which benefits under the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act you are entitled. Call us today at 1-877-746-5680.

Mary Beth Boyceby Mary Beth
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