The Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton have made a few key changes to Minnesota law as it pertains to Workers Compensation. Here are a few highlights, though if you are interested, I encourage you to read more about the laws passed this session that impact employment. Many of the changes were recommended by the Workers Compensation Advisory Council.
If a person experiences a tragic event in the workplace and is diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), he/she may apply for Workers Compensation. PTSD was recently added to the definitions of mental impairment, but must be diagnosed by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist. Also, the cause of the PTSD cannot be attributed to routine workplace situations like demotions, terminations or evaluations. The intention, according to the bill's author, was to provide relief to individuals who are witness something horrific, like the 2005 Red Lake school shooting.
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry received funding for a 2-year pilot program that brings more resources to persons suffering from workplace-related back pain. The program allows persons receiving Workers Compensation Benefits to access care advocates who are knowledgeable on the array of pain therapies available in Minnesota.
This year, the Legislature instituted a time frame during which injured workers can receive training and job development assistance (from qualified providers). One can now receive 20 hours of service each month, for up to 6 months. Six months (26 weeks) of training and job development is not a given. Each case will be checked after 13 weeks to assess progress.
It's hard to know what percent of Workers Compensation cases are filed and managed by an attorney, but it's got to be high. Filing a claim and tracking its progress is complex and without services of an attorney, the injured person has little knowledge of how to manage expectations and rehabilitation. Cases that involve an attorney now have a straight fee rate of 20 percent, capped at $26,000.
If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, please contact our team right away. As noted above, the complex set of deadlines and requirements is real and many injured folks find them difficult to understand. We can help.
If you or someone you know has been injured while on the job, it is critical to speak with an attorney to understand your options. At The Law Firm of Schroeder & Mandel, we provide a free initial consultation and there is no up-front fee to have us represent you.
Any delay in contacting an experienced work place injury attorney will most often hamper or prejudice your case, making it more difficult to seek a full recovery.