If your workers’ compensation benefits stopped, you probably have questions about why and what to do next. Sometimes, you may need to fight the insurance company when it stops your benefits.
Reasons that Workers’ Compensation Benefits End
Your benefits include payment of medical expenses, wage loss amounts, and costs of vocational rehabilitation services to help you get back to work. There are a variety of reasons that workers’ compensation benefits could end:
- You return to work (even at reduced hours or rate of pay)
- You reach maximum medical improvement (MMI)
- The insurance company believes that it has evidence that your injury did not happen at work
- You receive the maximum amount of one of the types of wage loss benefits
- You reach a settlement with the insurance company
If you max out your wage loss benefits, you may be eligible for another type of wage loss benefits depending on your medical and work status. For example, if you were receiving temporary total disability benefits but you return to work at reduced wages or hours, you may be eligible for temporary or permanent partial disability benefits instead.
How Will You Know If Your Benefits Are Ending?
The workers’ compensation insurance company has to send you a Notice of Intent to Discontinue Benefits before it stops paying you. The Notice is supposed to explain why the insurance company is discontinuing benefits, but it is not always entirely clear. Reasons listed on the form may include that you returned to work at full wage, you returned to work at reduced wage or hours, or for other reasons (which should be explained on the form).
If the form is unclear as to why your benefits are ending, talk to the insurance company representative or to your lawyer. For injured workers who do not have lawyers, receiving a Notice of Intent to Discontinue Benefits may be the reason for getting representation. A lawyer can explain why you are receiving the Notice. If you should still be receiving benefits, he or she can help you challenge the discontinuance.
Keep in mind that you only have a short time to fight a discontinuance of benefits. You need to request a conference to discuss the Notice with the insurance company, file an Objection to Discontinuance, or file a Claim Petition. Talk to your lawyer to determine the best option for your case.
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.