Injured Minnesota workers with pending workers’ compensation cases could be worried to receive a “Notice of File Closing”. Just the name of the document gives the idea that it means that your benefits will end. Fortunately, you usually have no cause for concern.
Many people who receive workers’ compensation benefits get payments over a long period of time. Sometimes, a case will settle as to some types of benefits, but the worker will still be entitled to the other benefits for years following the settlement. Usually it is the medical benefits that continue for years or for the life of the injured worker. For workers who have permanent disabilities, permanent partial disability or permanent total disability benefits could continue for many years.
At a certain point in some of these cases that remain open for a long time, the workers’ compensation insurance companies may send out Notices of File Closing. The Notices go to the Department of Labor and Industry to tell it that there is no further work planned on the file. The Department of Labor and Industry can then put its file for the case in storage. Often, an injured worker receives a copy of a Notice of File Closing, even though it is not necessary to send it to him or her.
These Notices have no impact on receipt of benefits. If you are getting medical benefits or wage loss benefits, you will continue getting them for as long as you are entitled. You should not receive a Notice if there are ongoing disputes in your case – for example, a planned surgery related to your injury that the insurance company says it may not cover.
Depending on your injury and the types of medical care you need, you could be entitled to ongoing benefits over a long period of time. Workers’ compensation insurance companies must pay for medical care that is reasonably related to the workplace injury. This includes follow-up care like further surgeries, courses of medication, and medical devices such as prosthetics that people use for the rest of their lives.
When you have significant ongoing medical needs due to your workplace injury, you need an advocate to help you get all the benefits you need. Even if has been quite a while since your injury and you are still getting benefits, consider talking to a workers’ compensation lawyer. Receiving a Notice of File Closing is not the end of your case and does not end your entitlement to compensation.
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.