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What if an injured worker can’t return to their job?

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

Most injured workers in Minnesota can request workers’ compensation benefits. The coverage carried by their employer can help pay for their medical costs. Workers can also qualify for disability benefits if they require time away from work to undergo treatment or heal from their injuries.

A sizable portion of workers’ compensation claims in Minnesota end when an injured worker recovers fully and returns to their position at a company. However, some workers have more serious injuries than others. They could have persistent symptoms that do not resolve after receiving standard treatment. Sometimes, instead of a full recovery, a worker instead reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI). This means that a doctor has determined they are unlikely to improve even with additional treatment.

What happens if a worker reaches MMI but still cannot return to work?

Benefits can last if symptoms persist

While dealing with lingering symptoms is not the ideal outcome for an injured employee, they at least have the protection of ongoing benefits. Workers’ compensation can continue covering symptom management like pain management or physical therapy. Even if workers’ compensation refuses to cover additional treatment costs, a worker could still qualify for necessary care based on their continued symptoms.

Workers’ compensation can also provide disability benefits. If a worker cannot return to any sort of gainful employment, they may qualify for permanent total disability benefits to replace their lost wages. Otherwise, they might receive permanent partial disability benefits based on the degree of impact their condition has on their earning potential. Amputations and other health challenges that forever reduce their earning potential can lead to benefits based on someone’s lost functional abilities.

It can be difficult to learn about workers’ compensation and manage a claim while also undergoing medical care. If someone adds the stress of lingering injury symptoms, they may have an uphill battle when they need benefits. Those seeking workers’ compensation coverage typically have the option of working with a lawyer throughout the process.

Particularly in cases where a work injury or a job-acquired medical condition prevents someone from continuing their career, they may need help getting benefits or responding to unfavorable offers. Learning more about how Minnesota workers’ compensation functions may benefit those worried about supporting their families after a work injury.