How does the MN work comp system work?

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MN Work Comp System

One of the more difficult parts of the Minnesota workers’ compensation system is understanding how the process works. This may be the first time you have had a work injury. Our office is experienced in the mn work comp system and can provide you guidance through the process. If you have questions concerning your MN workers’ compensation case, we at The Law Office of Thomas Mottaz are workers’ compensation attorneys willing to help.

Contact us for a free, no hassle consultation and we will answer your questions or help you find the right lawyer for your situation. Call us at (855)354-2667 TODAY.

Here are some questions our attorneys frequently get asked:

Where will my claim be heard?

Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) v. Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH)

Under MN workers’ compensation there are two different places or venues a dispute can be heard – DOLI or OAH. The type of document filed and the nature of the dispute will dictate where it will be heard. Typically, DOLI will hear issues of medical and rehabilitation under $7,500 if it is an admitted claim (paid benefits). OAH will hear all other disputes including wage loss and disputes over $7,500 where claims are either admitted or denied. Documents that our office could file to recover benefits for you can include:

  1. Medical Requests;
  2. Claim Petitions; and
  3. Rehabilitation Requests.

What is the difference between a work comp conference and a hearing?

Once the appropriate documents have been filed with the state a conference or hearing will be scheduled. The purpose of an administrative conference is to resolve issues regarding medical and rehabilitation services. Administrative conferences are typically scheduled for a half hour to an hour and are less formal then a hearing as no sworn testimony is given and a formal record is not kept.

A hearing is the equivalent of “trial” in civil cases. However, it is nothing like you see on TV. Instead, hearings are conducted at OAH or other designated locations throughout the state. There is no jury but instead a compensation judge that will consider all of the evidence. A hearing before the judges will be scheduled for either a half or a full day depending the issues. The parties offer evidence and sworn testimony is given. The parties are bound to follow certain rules when conducting themselves at hearing.See Video.

Following the conclusion of the conference or hearing, the mediator or Judge will take the matter on advisement and issue a Decision and Order (DO) or a Findings and Order (FO), which can be appealed within 30 days. If it is an administrative decision (DO) any party can request a formal evidentiary hearing before a compensation judge. If it is a hearing it can be appealed to the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals.

What is a Settlement Conference?

Settlement Conference

Prior to a hearing the court may schedule a settlement conference. This is an informal conference to resolve the case by meeting with the parties and exchanging a demand for settlement and a response. The Compensation Judge works with the parties to attempt to resolve the case without the necessity of a hearing. If the parties are unable to resolve the case the matter is then sent to the trial judge to hold a hearing.

Why is my claim being scheduled for a Pre-trial Conference?

Pretrial Conference

A Pretrial Conference may get scheduled by the trial judge to discuss the issues to be addressed at hearing. Typically, they are held over the phone but it may also be held in person. Both sides will discuss what evidence they will present, what witnesses will testify and any other nessesary matters.

Can I appeal by workers compensation case?

Appealing a Formal Decision

Any party has the right to appeal the order of the judge. If a party wishes to appeal, a notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days of receipt of the order. The Workers Compensation Court of Appeals (WCCA) will review the hearing record. The WCCA can affirm, reverse, remand or modify the Judge’s order. All parties will receive a copy of the WCCA decision. Any party may also appeal the WCCA decision to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Workers compensation law can be difficult to understand. If you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits or need to discuss your Minnesota workers compensation 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.


(855) 354-2667
3340 Northdale Blvd. NW, #140
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
Phone: (763) 421-8226
Fax: (763) 421-8362


  • “I was injured on Dec 17th 1980 on the job 12500 volts and David Kempston took on the job for me along with the Mottaz team’ I feel they put 100% into the case with out cutting any corners And I believe they are one of the best Attorney groups out there It was an experience and a great ending All though the pain will never go away they got the best settlement they could for me and so I thank the team at the office of the Mottaz Attorney’s THEY ARE THE BEST Thank You David Kempston for a job well done.”

    Ray K.Client
  • “Mr. Sisk took our case a few years ago not long after my wife was in a serious accident. Her employer’s insurance took insolvency and the employer was resolved to be no help at all. Despite the extremely out of the ordinary nature of our case, and regardless of impediments and hurdles, he has relentlessly fought for what was right on our behalf and been very successful doing so. Still today he continues to stand for us and what rightfully should be done. I simply can’t thank him enough. In troubled times this is the guy you want in your corner.”

    Linda and Joe A.Client
  • “Jerry was very responsive to all my questions, concerns and showed compassion in this very difficult time of my life. He took time by email, phone and in person to help me understand the process, the time frame, and all the possibilities. Persevering in the duration of all the doctor visits, working with my employer, and my work related injury was not easy. Jerry handled all of it from our initial meeting to the final resolution with confidence, encouragement, and high integrity. I would strongly recommend Jerry to my family, my friends, and all of my acquaintances. I would without a doubt trust Jerry in the future, if a situation would occur that needed legal representation. I appreciate all he did in helping me get my life back on track and making a positive difference in my life.”

    Michael Z.Client
  • “Since injuring my back in 1978 I had multiple issues and problems with the employer and insurer. This led to many disputes over the years. Having been told to live with pain for the rest of my life, I reached a point when I could no longer continue working. At that time I hired David Kempston and he took on my case and worked out for me a settlement that I was very comfortable with. He was always attentive to my calls and responded quickly when I would whine about things which he would assure me it would all come together. He was right and I am so grateful for his hard work. He goes the extra mile for me as a client, and is the type of person you could leave your wallet and checkbook with and no it is safe. Again, I am extremely grateful for David Kempston’s work and highly recommend him to someone who has a work injury and needs the finest representation. If you want to hire somebody with excellent work ethics hire David Kempston.”

    Robert H.Client