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Minnesota Worker's Compensation Benefits

Important Notice: The following overview of Minnesota's worker's compensation (workmans comp) benefits is presented on an as-is basis. This information is believed accurate as of the date of authorship, but is not intended to provide a complete analysis of available benefits and may not reflect subsequent changes in the law. For a full review of Minnesota's worker's compensation law, or for a determination of how the law applies to a specific worker, please consult a worker's compensation attorney licensed to practice in the state of Minnesota.

Contents

Introduction

Minnesota's system of worker's compensation (workman's comp) is compulsory, meaning that employers are required to provide worker's compensation insurance for their employees. Worker's compensation insurance may be provided through a competitive state fund, a private insurance carrier, or employers may self-insure. Waivers are not permitted.

Special Employment Situations

Worker's compensation coverage must be provided for agricultural workers who do not work for a family farm, as defined by state law. Elective coverage is permitted for certain employees of family farms. Any domestic worker who earns $1,000.00 or more in any three month period, or who has earned $1,000.00 or more in any three month period of the previous year from the same single, private household, is covered by the state worker's compensation act.

Medical Benefits & Choice of Physician

Full medical benefits are provided to employees entitled to worker's compensation benefits, with no time or monetary limits. Initial choice of physician is made by the employee, although if the employer has a managed care plan in effect and the employee does not have an established relationship with a physician outside the plan, the employee must select a physician in the plan network.

Disability Benefits Provided

Payments are made for temporary total disability (TTD) in an amount determined by a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to a weekly maximum payment amount. Payments may continue for up to 104 weeks, or 90 days after the employee reaches maximum medical improvement.

Payments are made for permanent total disability (PTD) based upon a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to weekly minimum and maximum payment amounts. Payments for PTD may ordinarily continue until the age of sixty-seven. Payments may be subject to an offset for any government or Social Security benefits.

Payments for permanent partial disability (PPD) are made based upon a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to a weekly maximum payment.

Scheduled awards are paid in addition to total temporary disability benefits starting upon termination of the termination of the TTD benefits. Scheduled awards are not reduced because of receipt of TTD benefits.

Benefits may be available for disfigurement or scarring, not resulting from the loss of a member.

Physical rehabilitation benefits are covered under medical services. Vocational rehabilitation benefits are available.

With certain constraints and filing deadlines, occupational hearing losses may be compensable.

Death Benefits Provided

Death benefits are payable to an employee's surviving spouse, or spouse and children, based upon a percentage of the employee's wages, subject to a cap. A minimum benefit is payable but not statutorily prescribed. A burial allowance is available.

Limits on Attorney Fees

Attorney fees for claimants are set by statute at 25% of the first $4,000, and 20% of the next $60,000. In certain cases, the attorney fee may be added to the award.