Filing a Workers Compensation Claim – Minnesota

This page provides answers to the following questions:

1. I had an accident at work. How do I file a workers compensation claim in my state?

In the event that you are injured while on the job, you should first seek the appropriate medical care and attention required. Next, you should notify your employer or supervisor as soon as possible about your injury. Your employer, upon notice of your injury, should file a First Report of Injury form to be filed with the Department.

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2. Should my employer have workers compensation insurance? How do I know if I am covered?

Minnesota law requires that every employer provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees either by acquiring a policy through an insurance provider or by becoming an approved self-insured employer by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

Your employer’s insurance provider, should your employer have one, will determine whether your employer will accept primary liability for your claim.

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3. What are the conditions that enable me or prevent me from claiming benefits under my state’s law?

In order to receive benefits, your injury or disability must have occurred during or as a result of your employment. Your ability to work or return to work will largely affect whether you will be able to receive benefits and the kind and amount of benefits you could be entitled to.

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4. What benefits might I be eligible to receive?

Under Minnesota workers’ compensation law, you may be entitled to a variety of benefits depending on the circumstances surrounding your claim. These can include wage-loss benefits, compensation for the loss of use to a body part, medical benefits, or vocational rehabilitation.

  • Wage-loss benefits are paid to an injured employee depending on the scope and disability caused by the at-work injury. Your condition will be categorized based on how your disability affects your ability to work or likelihood of employment as a result. You may qualify to receive benefits as one or more of the following:
  • Temporary Total Disability: You are unable to return to any form of work and are paid in the same manner and frequency as you would have received wages pre-injury. However, you should not expect to receive the same amount of wages as you previously earned. Often, your benefits will be a fraction or percentage of your previous earnings set or calculated based on a number of factors.
  • Temporary Partial Disability: These are benefits paid to you to compensate in the difference of wage earnings should you be able to return to work, but in a lesser capacity because your injury has prevented you from earning wages equivalent to those you made pre-disability.
  • Permanent Partial Disability: This is a payment made to you for the permanent loss of use or function to a body part as a result of your injury.
  • Dependents’ and survivors’ benefits: Payments, usually paid in intervals, to your dependents or survivors in the event that the work-related injury results in your death.
  • Cost-of-living Adjustments: adjustments made to your benefits scheme to compensate for changes in standards of living as well as changes to your own cost of living as a result of your injury.

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5. How much time do I have to file my claim? What are the stages of the claims process? What should I expect?

Usually a claim will arise from a dispute or denial relating to your employer’s or your employer’s insurance provider’s decision to accept liability. Make sure you understand the situation and why a denial has been made, if that is the situation. You may call the insurance’s claim adjuster and gather some information or clarify any potential mistakes or errors in your claim file.

The Department facilitates alternative dispute resolution programs and also provides information about the options available to you. Mediation could be one possible solution in resolving your workers’ compensation claim. The department provides mediators experienced in workers’ compensation law to help you to arrive at a mutually agreeable settlement between you and the other party.

 You may also choose a more formal route by pursuing an administrative conference. There, a staff member at the Department will conduct a conference to help to settle or resolve the matters in dispute within your claim. If an agreement cannot be reached, a Decision of Order issued. This determination may be appealed.

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6. If I am not happy with the determination, how do I appeal?

A Decision of Order may be appealed to the state court of appeals within thirty days of receiving a notice of determination.

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