If your employer delayed or did something wrong during the course of your workers’ compensation claim and your benefits payments were late, you may wonder if there is any penalty for your employer. The answer is yes in some cases – Minnesota law requires penalties for employers and insurance companies who pay benefits late or not at all.
Late Filing of First Report of Injury
One reason that your benefits may be late (or not paid to you at all) is your employer’s delay in filing the First Report of Injury form with its insurer. Under the law, your employer must submit this form to its workers’ compensation insurance company within 10 days of when you report the workplace injury. You have no obligation to fill out the form or to make sure it gets to the insurance company.
If your employer fails to send the form in on time, or if the insurer fails to send the form to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry within 14 days of your report, then they may have to pay penalties. The penalties go to the Minnesota Assigned Risk Safety Account (ARSA).
Late Benefits Payments
Either your employer if self-insured or the workers’ compensation insurance company may owe both ARSA and you penalties if you receive your first benefits payment late. The insurance company must start paying you benefits within 14 days after you report your injury to your employer. (Alternatively, you may receive a benefits denial, which you will need to challenge.) If you receive more than 3 benefits payments lateafter the first payment, the employer or insurer may owe additional penalties.
If you are granted benefits but do not receive timely payments from the insurance company (or your self-insured employer), you can contact the insurance company or the Department of Labor and Industry. You may have more success in receiving a penalty payment if you work with a lawyer.
Information Used in Assessing Penalties
The Department of Labor and Industry looks at a few pieces of information in deciding whether to impose penalties against employers or insurance companies, including:
- The date you are injured
- The date your employer received notice of the injury
- The date the insurer received notice of the injury from your employer
- The date the First Report of Injury form is received by the Department
- The date of first payment of wage loss benefits
- The dates of later payments
- Whether your employer is continuing to pay you full wages.
Need help recovering workers’ compensation benefits? 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.