Some workplace injuries are severe enough that you cannot return to work afterward. Either you cannot do your current job, or you cannot do nearly any job. This is a stressful situation for someone used to supporting himself or herself and family members by doing a hard day’s work.
- Take Time to Heal
Take the time you need to heal from your injuries. Do not try to rush back into the workplace, and do not let the insurance company force you to do so. Make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions, see specialists if needed, and talk to a counselor or psychologist if you are feeling stressed.
- If You Can’t Do Your Old Job, Seek Help Finding a New One
The Minnesota workers’ compensation system is set up to help you find a new job if you cannot go back to your old job after healing. You can request to see a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (QRC), whose job is to guide you in your job search. The QRC will do an initial evaluation to make sure you qualify for vocational services, then develop a rehabilitation plan.
The rehabilitation plan may include counseling, job and skills analysis, job placement, transferable skills analysis, retraining, and more. You may be able to take classes or get skills training so that you can take another job.
- If You Can’t Work at All, Seek Wage-Loss Benefits
Sometimes work injuries are so serious that you cannot return to the workforce afterwards. If your doctor says that you have reached maximum medical improvement but you are still unable to work (even with QRC services), you need permanent total disability benefits. Permanent total disability benefits (PTD) are payments from the workers’ compensation insurance company of two-thirds of your average weekly wage at the time of the injury.
Talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer about seeking permanent total disability benefits if the insurer only wants to pay permanent partial benefits. You may be able to challenge the insurer’s decision.
Also, you may qualify for other benefits through the local, state, or federal governments. Be aware that Social Security payments may get reduced by the amount of your PTD benefits.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.