If you have been receiving workers’ compensation benefits in Minnesota, know that these benefits will end at some point. The state places limits on how many weeks of benefits you can receive. Depending on which types of benefits for which you are eligible, your benefits termination date may vary.
People receiving Temporary Total Disability benefits can expect payments to last for up to 130 weeks. The previous blog post discusses some reasons why TTD benefits could end before 130 weeks passes, such as return to work. The insurance company must notify TTD benefits recipients of the 130-week limit on benefits payments after they have been paid 52 weeks of benefits. Further, before 80 weeks of benefits have been paid, the insurance company must notify benefits recipients of the 208-week time limit to request retraining.
People receiving Temporary Partial Disability benefits can expect payments to last for 225 weeks. If 450 weeks have passed since the date of injury, the insurance company will discontinue benefits regardless of whether the recipient has received the full 225 weeks of benefits. The only exception is if you are participating in an approved retraining program.
Before an insurance company terminates Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits, it must send a Notice of Intention to Discontinue Workers’ Compensation Benefits to the injured worker. The company also needs to file a copy of this Notice with the Department of Labor and Industry. You should receive a clear explanation of why benefits are being discontinued on this Notice, including any supporting documentation if needed. If you agree with the reasons stated on the Notice, you do not need to take any action.
If you disagree with the reasons for benefits discontinuance stated on the notice, you have a few options: request a conference, start the objection procedure, talk to the insurer, or contact the Department’s alternative dispute resolution service.
People who returned to work or returned at a reduced hour or wage may request a conference due to something that happened during the first 14 days after they return to work – for example, they discover they are not well enough to work. The injured worker must request a conference within 30 days of return to work. People whose benefits are going to be discontinued for other reasons may request a conference as well, but they must act within 12 days after the Notice is sent to the Department.
The objection to discontinuance procedure takes longer than the conference procedure but allows for a full hearing on discontinuance of benefits. You must file an Objection to Discontinuance form to request a hearing. It is a good idea to speak to an attorney if you plan to participate in a conference or a hearing.
Did you receive a Notice of Intention to Discontinue your workers’ compensation benefits that you think is incorrect? 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.