If you have developed an occupational disease or sustained a work-related injury, you may qualify to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
There are several steps in the process of filing a claim including preparation for filing an appeal, should that become necessary.
Seek medical treatment
If you suffer an on-the-job injury, you should seek immediate medical attention. Your well-being is a top priority, but, in terms of financial compensation, it is equally important to obtain a medical report that provides details about your injury and subsequent treatment.
Inform your supervisor
The next step is to inform your supervisor about the injury. You will probably do this verbally, but you should also provide notification in writing. This establishes an official record of the incident, your injury, diagnosis and treatment plan. Submit the written notice as soon as possible while the details associated with the injury are still fresh in your mind.
Complete the claim form
Your employer will likely provide you with a claim form to fill out, but if not, you can obtain one from the workers’ compensation board in Minnesota. You will provide information as to the type of injury you sustained, how it occurred and when and where it happened.
It is important to maintain records relating to your injury. Keep a journal about the cause of the injury, your diagnosis and treatment, and what effect the injury has on your work and normal activities. Keep all receipts for out-of-pocket expenses. If the insurer denies your claim — and this can happen — these records will provide important backup information when you file an appeal.
Anticipate receiving benefits
Once approved for workers’ compensation benefits, you will fit into one of several categories, such as temporary partial disability or permanent total disability. You can expect to receive benefits related to your injury and ongoing condition. Compensation might include coverage for current and future medical expenses, mobility assistive devices and even the cost of transportation if you require ongoing treatment.
The benefits will continue until you are able to work again or until your doctor determines that you have reached “maximum medical improvement.” If the injury results in permanent disability and MMI, you may qualify for lifetime benefits.