In Minnesota, some injured workers qualify for Economic Recovery Compensation as part of their Permanent Partial Disability benefits. Economic Recovery Compensation, or ERC, compensates employees who have not returned to or been offered suitable employment at a certain point.
Injured workers can receive payment of their PPD benefits in the form of either ERC or Impairment Compensation (IC). The insurance company will determine which of the two a worker receives. This determination depends on whether the worker has returned to or has been offered suitable employment within 90 days after receiving a medical report indicating that the worker has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) or 90 days after ending retraining.
If the worker has not returned to or been offered suitable employment after the 90 days passes, then the insurance company should pay ERC. ERC is calculated by multiplying the worker’s whole-body disability rating or percentage by the number of weeks listed in a table, then by two-thirds of the worker’s weekly wage before the injury. The table is found in the Minnesota law regarding ERC.
The insurance company will pay ERC at the same weekly wage rate as it did for the worker’s temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. It also will pay ERC at the same intervals, such as every other week. You cannot receive ERC if you are still receiving TTD benefits. If you are receiving ERC benefits and then return to work, you should receive a lump sum payment of the remaining ERC benefits by 30 days after you return to work.
In contrast, you can receive IC if you do return to work within the 90 day period. IC is calculated by multiplying the worker’s whole-body disability rating or percentage by a specific dollar amount listed in a table in the statute. IC is usually payable as a lump sum, unless the worker retires or is receiving permanent total disability benefits as well.
If you do not believe that you are receiving all the wage loss benefits to which you are entitled, including ERC or IC, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer to help you navigate the system. Your lawyer can advocate for the highest possible benefit payments to help you pay your bills, and help you return to work.
Are you confused by denial of workers’ comp benefits or low benefits amounts? 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.