Creating a safe working environment is one of the most basic responsibilities of an employer. Still, accidents can happen, no matter what precautions are taken. These unforeseen events can injure workers, which results in expenses and financial loss. That’s where workers’ compensation coverage comes in.
Employers are liable to provide workers’ compensation for injured or ill employees thanks to Workers’ Compensation laws. This means that workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory for businesses everywhere in the United States of America; Minnesota is no exception.
In this article, we’ll break down the basics of workers’ compensation and why it’s required for all businesses.
What Is Workers’ Comp, and Why Is it Mandatory?
Workmen Compensation Insurance in Minnesota is a government-mandated program that essentially works as disability insurance for employees. The main difference is that it’s the employers who are paying the premium. Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Law requires all employers to purchase this insurance, so it’s considered a mandatory coverage.
When a worker gets injured or falls ill because of poor working conditions, they can file for compensation. The workers’ comp insurance will serve as the source of funds for the benefits the employee will get. Thanks to this arrangement, the employer won’t face financial loss and the injured worker will get the compensation they deserve.
This is why workers’ compensation insurance has become mandatory for all businesses. Employers who fail to carry insurance will face severe consequences, from hefty fines to jail time. They can also be sued in personal injury cases by workers.
While it’s a standard requirement all over the country, workers’ comp laws differ in every state. In Minnesota, for example, noncitizens can also file for compensation. Other states have rules that only allow recognized citizens to get compensation. The minimum weekly payments are varied as well, and it depends on the state and industry that the business belongs to.
Specific Areas Covered by Workers Comp MN
There are three specific kinds of benefits covered by workers’ compensation insurance plans. Each has its own perks, and what a worker gets depends on the gravity of the illness or injury.
Many kinds of injuries can necessitate a trip to the hospital. In many cases, accidents can leave employees with sprains, broken bones, and other incapacitating issues. However, it’s not just accidents that can cause harm to employees. Long-term problems like carpal tunnel and respiratory diseases can stem from poor working environments, ergonomics, and other factors that are also covered in workers’ comp.
To treat these injuries and disorders, workers typically need to help of a medical professional, which leads to medical expenses. In the case of surgeries, this can get very expensive very fast. Thankfully, workers’ compensation insurance can help ease the financial burden. When a worker files a claim, they can get an amount equivalent to what they spent. Some of the areas covered are:
- Hospital stays
- Emergency room Visits
- Surgical procedures
Injuries can sometimes leave workers unable to return to the workforce. This can be caused by disability, cognitive impairment, or psychological issues sustained from the injury. To allow them to return to the same quality of life that they enjoyed before their injury, they need to take vocational rehabilitation programs.
These programs can be retraining sessions, physical and mental therapy, career counseling, and an upgrade of current skill sets. If done successfully, these programs help people return to work or find new jobs where their disability won’t be a major issue. Of course, the programs aren’t free. Thankfully, workers’ comp covers most of the expenses, including:
- Tuition fees
- School supplies
- Job and skill development
Treating an injury can require several days at the hospital, not even including the recovery period at home. Individuals obviously can’t come to work because of these reasons, so they’re also not getting any income while healing. Every day they aren’t working means lost funds, further adding to their financial burden.
Fortunately, workers’ compensation insurance offers wage loss benefits. The amount an individual can receive varies on the degree of injury. Currently, Minnesota divides wage loss benefits into four types:
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
What Happens to Employers That Refuse to Comply?
Businesses and employers who fail to carry workers’ compensation insurance face penalties and civil lawsuits. There are certain legal bodies dedicated to investigating companies and finding if they’re following the mandatory coverage demanded by the law. These include the following:
Mandatory Coverage Investigations
In Minnesota, the body that handles workers’ compensation insurance investigations is the Minnesota Special Compensation Fund (SCF). Before contacting them, you should first look for information in your workplace detailing the employer’s insurance carrier and contact information. It should be included in the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Employees Rights and Responsibilities poster.
If this information is nowhere to be found, you can still look up your employer online. If there are no hits, then you can request help from the SCF. They will investigate your employer and see if they have workers’ comp insurance. If the investigation shows that they’re unable to provide coverage for your work-related injury, then the SCF will penalize the business. They will also provide the benefits for your qualified injuries.
Fraud and Workers’ Comp MN
Workers’ comp fraud is in a similar vein to noncompliance with mandatory workers’ comp coverage. However, since this is considered a felony, the punishment is much more severe. Anyone, whether they’re the employee or the employer, who is found to be falsifying or misrepresenting information to receive benefits will be sentenced to prison time and enormous fines. That’s why it’s important for anyone who suspects workers’ comp fraud to report the incident to authorities.
We’ll Help You Through the Workers’ Comp Claim Process
Receiving the benefits you deserve can be a long, complex process, and it’s especially difficult to navigate while you’re still recovering from your injury. That’s why you need the help of professionals who understand the entire process. You’ll want an attorney who understands the intricacies of Workmen Compensation Insurance in Minnesota.
The team of Osterbauer Law Firm has extensive experience when it comes to handling workers comp MN cases. We’ll guide you throughout the entire process and help you get the compensation you deserve for your work-related injury. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.