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Although workers’ compensation benefits are based on a no-fault system, it doesn’t mean your claim will be automatically approved. After you submit your application, you may receive notice that your workers’ comp claim is denied. If you do receive a workers’ compensation denial, don’t give up hope. You have the right to appeal this decision. For more information on how to proceed with an appeal, contact a St. Paul workers’ compensation attorney.

Work Injuries and Workers’ Compensation

Being injured at work is not necessarily uncommon. Some people are injured due to an accident, like a trip and fall. Other workplace injuries develop over time and are the result of exposure to toxic chemicals or are repetitive stress injuries. When you are injured at work, you expect that your employer’s insurance will cover your medical expenses and missed time from work. If you receive a workers’ compensation denial, you need to find out the reasons why.

Reasons a Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied

Do not give up your potential right to benefits because you received a workers’ compensation denial. Reasons for the denial can vary from simple paperwork mistakes to pre-existing conditions. Here are some of the most common reasons your workers’ comp claims are denied:

  • You did not notify your employer of your injury within the allotted time frame;
  • You did not file a workers’ compensation claim within the deadline;
  • Your condition doesn’t meet Minnesota state guidelines;
  • You filed a claim after quitting, being laid off, or being fired;
  • Your employer disputes that your injuries are work-related;
  • You did not seek any medical treatment;
  • You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the injury occurred;
  • You refused to cooperate with the workers’ compensation carrier;
  • You sought treatment with a provider not approved by workers’ compensation; or
  • Your injuries are a pre-existing medical condition.

There may be additional reasons for a workers’ compensation denial, which is why you must find out the exact reasons why. That will help you decide what your next steps are.

What to Do If Your Claim Was Denied

If your workers’ comp claim was denied, you need to find out why. Look at the letter, which will likely include the reasons for the denial. If the denial appears to relate to a mistake in paperwork, start by contacting the workers’ compensation adjuster to correct the problem. If this doesn’t fix your claim, your next step should be to contact a St. Paul workers’ compensation attorney.

Filing an Appeal

Your denial letter may contain information on how to appeal the decision. In most cases, your appeal starts with filing an Employee’s Claim Petition. You need to answer all the questions and get a medical report from your doctor that supports your work injury claim. You will send everything to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (MDLL). You also need to forward copies to your employer and their workers’ compensation carrier. The MDLL may respond with a decision, schedule a settlement conference, forward your claim to the Office of Administrative Hearing, or take other action.

When to Hire a Lawyer

When your workers’ compensation is denied for any reason other than a simple mistake, you should contact a St. Paul workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney can help you decide whether filing an appeal is the right course of action. The appeals process can be complicated, and it may require you to attend multiple hearings in person. It’s crucial to have all the necessary evidence at the start as you may not be able to present additional information as you move through the various appeal levels.

If you need assistance with your workers’ compensation denial, contact Arechigo & Stokka to schedule an initial consultation. We specialize in Minnesota workers’ compensation claims and can help you fight for your workers’ compensation benefits.  

Author Photo Joshua R. Stokka

Josh has been representing injured workers for over 10 years. Josh was born and raised in Fargo, North Dakota, and attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology. Mr. Stokka alson received his law degree from the Hamline University School of Law. During law school, Josh clerked at a Minnesota law firm specializing in personal injury and workers’ compensation. Prior to practicing in the area of workers’ compensation, Josh clerked for a judge in the 7th Judicial District in Minnesota. This valuable experience gave him insight into how judges think, do their jobs behind the scene, and how to frame a case in order to obtain a favorable result.  Now, he focuses 100% of his practice on defending injured workers in Minnesota.

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