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Will I Lose My Benefits If I Inherit Money?

In Minnesota, every business should offer their employees worker’s compensation insurance. If you incur an injury while performing work-related tasks or develop an occupational disease, you’re entitled to receive MN worker’s compensation payouts.

However, you might have questions like: “Will I lose my benefits if I inherit money?” The answer is no. However, if you die or suffer from a disability caused by another accident or injury, you won’t get the benefits. It’s best to consult experienced workers’ compensation lawyers in Minnesota like our team at Osterbauer, so you’ll know all your options and get quick and professional help.

Understanding Workers’ Compensation Coverage

A no-fault system, workers’ compensation offers benefits to employees who have been injured because of work-related activities. Given the no-fault system, employers need not prove negligence on employers’ part to show liability. At the same time, employers can’t use negligence as a defense when employees claim benefits.

Workman’s compensation insurance in Minnesota includes the following benefits:

  • Medical costs (physical therapy, prescriptions, surgery, emergency room visits, and more)
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Wage loss benefits (temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, permanent partial disability, and permanent total disability)
  • Death benefits (for fatal injuries)

Some of the scenarios applicable to MN workers’ compensation payouts are when you fractured your leg after falling off a ladder while stocking shelves. After going to the hospital, you learned that you need to undergo physical therapy to facilitate recovery. Now, the medical costs can be covered by your workers’ compensation benefits.

Also, when you injure your back after carrying boxes at work, you can use the workers’ compensation insurance to cover the medical costs of the back treatment.

Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits

As we mentioned above, you won’t lose your workers’ compensation benefits if you inherited money. However, in case the accident you encountered at work caused your death, your family will be entitled to receive death benefits and, of course, the money that you inherited.

The average compensation amount in Minnesota is $60,000. The surviving family could get a higher compensation according to factors — the family’s situation and the number of surviving relatives. Let’s look at the following differences:

Dependent Parents

In the event that you died with no children or spouse, and your parents depended on your income, they can be entitled to the workers death benefit compensation. That is, 45% of the deceased employee’s weekly wages will be given to two dependent and surviving parents.

Meanwhile, if there’s only one dependent parent, he or she will receive 35% only. Statutory provisions apply to partially dependent parents, but the settlement shouldn’t be higher than the amount that the employee paid for his or her parent’s support.

Spouse With Dependent Children

Assuming that you have a spouse and one dependent child in the event of your passing, they will altogether receive 60% of your weekly wage, until your child becomes 18 years old or is no longer dependent.

Your spouse will be able to receive weekly benefits for 10 years. However, these will be 16.66% lower than the weekly benefit received when your child was a dependent.

Meanwhile, if you have a spouse and two dependent children, the percentage will be higher. In particular, it’s 66.66% of your weekly wage when injured until your child is not a dependent anymore. Your spouse will still receive weekly benefits for 10 years, but it’s 25% lower this time.

Spouse Without Dependent Children

In case you have a spouse but you don’t have any dependent children, your spouse will receive 50% of your weekly wage for 10 years. In the event that your spouse will remarry, they will still be able to receive the benefits. There may be adjustments considering inflation. However, this won’t exceed 6%.

Orphaned Children

If you don’t have a spouse, but you die from a work-related accident, your orphaned child will get 55% of your weekly wage. Assuming that there are two or more orphaned children, the percentage will be higher. The supervision of an appointed guardian may be needed based on the orphaned child’s age.

Factors That Affect MN Work Compensation Lump Sum Settlement

While inheriting money does not affect your work compensation benefits, you might prefer a lump sum settlement over weekly or monthly payments, especially if you suffer from a long-term work injury. However, you must discuss your options for a lump sum settlement with workers’ compensation lawyers in Minnesota and decide whether it’s the right choice for you.

Our competent team of lawyers at Osterbauer will consider different factors that will affect your claim’s total value, including the following:

Previously Lost Wages

Past lost wages are one of the first things that lawyers will take into consideration when drafting your settlement offer. These are also one of the easiest to calculate, since you’re entitled to the amount that you would have gained had you not been injured — regardless of the length of time you miss work because of your injury.

Future Loss of Income

After considering the previously lost wages, the lawyer will also consider the estimated loss of income caused by your work-related injury. Compared to the past lost wages, these are more challenging to compute since several factors are also involved. These include future medical improvement, the date that you’re expected to start working again, and the length of time you’re eligible to receive wage loss benefits.

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

Out-of-pocket expenses are another element that will affect your lump sum workers’ compensation payment. For example, the gas that you used in going to and from the clinic or hospital, the health supplies you used to help manage your injury, and other out-of-pocket medical coverage contribute to the final lump sum settlement offer.

Future Medical Expenses

Aside from the out-of-pocket expenses, it’s also expected that you will have medical expenses in the future. Thus, future medical care costs should also be considered in the lump sum settlement offer.

Permanent Partial Disability

In case the injury you incurred at work led to a permanent disability, this is a crucial factor when determining the possible lump sum that you should receive.

Third-Party Payer Reimbursement

In case some of the medical costs from your work-related injury were covered by your private health insurance and other third-party payers, the settlement offer includes asking the workers’ compensation carrier to pay for the medical expenses that were settled by the third party.

Rehabilitation Benefits

The rehabilitation benefits that an injured employee is entitled to do not involve receiving money. However, it still has a monetary value, given that the insurance company would cover this benefit after you’ve received a standard claim agreement. Thus, if you are eligible for rehabilitation or retraining, it will also be considered in your lump sum settlement offer.

Work With Trusted Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Minnesota

While you might be worried about losing benefits if you receive money from an inheritance, this won’t affect your MN workers’ compensation payouts. However, you should consult competent workers’ comp lawyers like Osterbauer Law Firm, so you’ll know how to protect your rights and claim benefits in case you suffer from work-related accidents.

Contact us today, and we’ll help you get the compensation you rightfully deserve.


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