Workers’ Compensation Resources
If you were hurt at work, Minnesota Workers’ Compensation can help you get the medical treatment you need, and cover your wage loss and injury-related expenses. Unfortunately, it takes time for the workers’ compensation insurance company to process a work injury claim.
Many clients call us wondering what options are available while waiting for the insurance company, especially when their Workers’ Compensation claim is denied.
It’s important to keep in mind that Workers’ Comp might not be the only resource available to you, while you wait. At Fields Law Firm, one of the top priorities of our Minnesota Work Comp Attorneys is helping our clients understand their rights after a work-related injury.
If you’ve ever had a work injury or been laid off from a job before, you may already know some of the options available to you. However, most people have not had anything like this happen to them before and have no idea where to even start. Here are some situations that our clients find themselves in, and how we can help.
What am I going to do for money in the meantime, until my Work Comp Claim gets resolved?
If you are unable to work at all following your work injury, you may qualify for Disability Benefits. The first thing that we ask all of our clients is whether or not they have Short Term Disability or Long Term Disability. Usually, Short Term Disability policies are for 3 or 6 months, and Long Term Disability policies can pay up to several years.
These insurance policies are designed to provide benefits when you are injured or disabled and cannot return to work. The great thing about these disability policies is that they are usually self-funded by the Employer, and therefore, when you settle your case, you might not have to pay the entire amount back to the disability insurance carrier.
This is usually the case with Short Term Disability benefits, and sometimes the case with Long Term Disability. Our Long Term Disability attorneys can also negotiate down the amount you have to pay back to Long Term Disability so it doesn’t end up offsetting your Work Comp benefits as much.
Another option for someone who is totally disabled and unable to return to work, or have a condition that could last for a year or longer, is to apply for Social Security Disability. At Fields Law, our attorneys can help coordinate all of your Workers’ Compensation and Disability Benefits to maximize the compensation you receive, as quickly as possible.
What if my employer cannot accommodate my restrictions and I was sent home without pay?
If you are physically unable to do the work that your employer has for you, and they have told you that they cannot accommodate your work restrictions, you may be found eligible for unemployment if you are able to work in some capacity. If you have been terminated or laid off from work, you have the right to file for unemployment.
You also have the right to receive vocational rehabilitation services as part of your worker’s compensation claim if your employer is unable to accommodate your work restrictions. This means you will receive help from a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (QRC) with job searches, career counseling, skills training, case management and even tuition.
What options do I have for paying my doctor’s bills?
If you don’t have health insurance, you can apply for medical assistance through the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Keep in mind, it’s very important that you can continue to see your doctor and treat for your injury.
If you don’t have income coming in from Workers’ Compensation, then you will likely get medical benefits from the state or the county you live in. Depending on the county, you might not have to pay a premium, while state assistance typically determines your insurance premium based on your income.
Are there any other options for financial assistance?
If you do not have disability benefits and you don’t qualify for unemployment, then the next option is to apply for government assistance. Usually going to the Department of Human Services is the most helpful, because they can provide food stamps/EBT cards, cash assistance in some circumstances when individuals are unable to work at all, and they can provide housing assistance. The State also has a work force center located near the unemployment and human services offices that can provide job search assistance.
And finally, if you are unable to pay your bills and have started receiving notices from collection agencies, our law firm can help with that, too. Our debt settlement attorneys can make debt collection calls and letters stop and prevent debt collectors from harassing you. We can also help you settle your debts by negotiating a lower amount or a payment plan that works for you.
Helpful Resources and Links
We’ve created the following list of helpful resources and websites you can consult to get more information about workers’ compensation benefits and other services in Minnesota.
- Minnesota Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program
Use the official Minnesota Unemployment Insurance website to learn about the benefits you may be eligible to receive if you lose your job due to an injury or illness.
- Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS)
Get information about economic support for yourself, your child, or someone you know with a disability.
- Guide to Minnesota’s Public Health Care Programs
Learn about public healthcare programs in Minnesota and how to apply for coverage.
- Guide to Additional Health Care Resources
If you or someone in your family doesn’t have health insurance, use this state website to find options for reduced cost healthcare.
Use this online marketplace to purchase health insurance plans for yourself, your family, or your employees.
- Allina Health Emergency Medical Services
Schedule medical transportation throughout the Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area using this service.
- Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry: Vocational Rehabilitation Unit (VRU)
If you suffered an on-the-job injury and can’t do the work you did before, use this service to get vocational assistance and career rehabilitation to find new employment.
- Minnesota Low-Cost Health Care Directory
Use this directory to find low-cost or free physical, mental, and dental healthcare clinics in your area of Minnesota.