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Know your rights for workers’ compensation

On Behalf of | Jul 24, 2020 | Workers' Compensation |

As a worker in Minnesota, you have the right to workers’ compensation after an illness or injury associated with your job. These benefits cover medical bills, lost wages and other related expenses.

Protect your ability to receive workers’ compensation by understanding your rights and responsibilities if you experience an injury or workplace exposure.

Choose your care provider

Minnesota law allows you to see your own doctor or the medical provider of your choice when seeking care for a work-related injury or illness. However, your employer can require you to have one visit with its designated doctor first. This session, an independent medical examination, must take place within 150 miles of your home.

Exceptions apply to certain situations as follows:

  • Your employer can designate a pharmacy for your use as long as you live within 15 miles of the specified location.
  • If you work under a valid collective bargaining agreement, this agreement may require you to choose from an existing list of providers.
  • If you are part of a managed care plan, your employer may require you to seek treatment through that plan.

Take advantage of benefits

Minnesota has three general categories of workers’ compensation benefits:

  • Rehabilitation benefits include vocational rehabilitation and retraining if you cannot return to your previous job duties because of your illness or injury. You can also receive disability case management and advocacy from a qualified rehabilitation consultant.
  • Medical benefits, including the right to “reasonable and necessary medical treatment.” This includes but is not limited to doctor visits, follow-up care, rehabilitation, medication, hospital-based care, surgical treatment, specialty care, mental health care and chiropractic care.
  • Wage-loss benefits, including temporary or permanent partial or total disability. The payment amounts vary based on the extent of your disability and your average wages. These benefits also receive an adjustment for cost-of-living each year.

To receive these benefits, you must meet the deadlines established by state law. For example, failure to make a timely report of your injury can result in disqualification.