Although the law controls the specific amounts duration and types of benefits in effect at the time of the injury, there are 4 main types of benefits available to an injured worker.
Wage Replacement Benefits
Temporary total disability benefits (TTD). TTD benefits are a form of compensation available to an injured employee who is unable to work because of the work injury, or who is released to work with restrictions but is unable to find work within those restrictions. The TTD rate is two-thirds of the employee’s gross wage at the time of the injury, subject to certain maximum and minimums.
Temporary partial disability benefits (TPD). TPD benefits are partial wage loss compensation for an injured employee who is back to work but is earning less than the date of injury wage due to the effects of a work injury. TPD is calculated at two thirds of the difference between the pre-injury wage and the employee’s current ability to earn.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD). PTD benefits are wage loss compensation where the injured employee’s physical disability causes the employee to be unable to find anything more than occasional employment resulting in insubstantial income. This means that the worker cannot secure a steady job and earn a living from work. The rate payable for PTD benefit is two-thirds of the employee’s gross weekly wage at the time of the injury.
Functional Impairment or Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD)
Permanent partial disability or “permanency” is a payment for the loss of use of, or the loss of body function. These benefits are paid according to the compensation schedule established by the Workers’ Compensation Division. The amount and duration of the benefit are controlled by the permanent partial disability rating. It may be payable in one lump sum or in weekly increments. In cases where there is no specific schedule for that injury, the courts have allowed what is called a “Weber” rating. Under Weber, a doctor may provide an alternative permanent disability rating.
The employer and insurer are responsible for payment of “reasonable and necessary” medical treatment, which will aid in curing or relieving the effects of the work injury. Covered treatments include hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic services, injection therapy, chronic pain management and many other forms of medical care. The right to receive these benefits may be impacted by the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Treatment Parameters depending on various factors including whether the injury is admitted or denied.
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
Vocational rehabilitation benefits are designed to assist the injured worker returning to former employment or to a job related to that employment. In the alternative, rehabilitation services assist the injured employee to return to a job in another work area, which produces an economic status as close as possible to that enjoyed but for the disability. This assistance may include direct job placement, on-the-job training or formal retraining. Rehabilitation services can include the use of a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (“QRC”) to help with medical management, return to work, and job placement.
When you have specific questions about the workers’ compensation benefits available to you contact the DOLI or an attorney. Most attorneys offer free consultations however you want to make sure you choose the right one.
If you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits or have concerns about your case, we at The Law Office of Thomas Mottaz are workers’ compensation attorneys that help people with Minnesota work injuries anywhere in MN. Contact us for a free consultation and we will answer your questions or help you find the right lawyer for your situation.