Workers’ Compensation Attorney Helping with Denied Benefits in St. Paul, MN

Getting hurt on the job in St. Paul can be devastating. Not only does a workplace injury likely mean that you will need to pay for medical expenses and other healthcare costs, but it also will likely result in missing days of work and income. Depending upon the severity of the injury, a worker may suffer a temporary or permanent disability.

If the disability is partial, the worker may be able to return to the job at some point in the future with limited capacity. However, many workers do sustain injuries that result in total and permanent disabilities that make it impossible to return to work.

Regardless of the severity of your injury, it is important to obtain workers’ compensation benefits to cover healthcare costs and lost wages. Yet many workers in Minnesota end up with denied workers’ compensation claims. If you search “workers’ compensation denied”, you will learn that there are numerous reasons that a person can be denied workers’ compensation.

In some cases, the reasons are related to errors in the application process that may be corrected. In other instances, the reasons for denied benefits can be much more complicated. No matter what your circumstances, you should know that a St. Paul workers’ compensation attorney can help you to appeal the denial and to get the benefits you deserve.

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Workers’ Compensation Claim Denied – Filing an Appeal

If your workers’ compensation benefits in St. Paul have been denied, the first and most important thing to know is that you can appeal the denial. The appeals process starts with the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry (DLI). As that Department explains, the initial steps in the appeals process usually include the following:

  • Call the insurance claims adjuster to inquire about being denied benefits. When you speak with the insurance claims adjuster, you should take detailed notes about the phone call in writing, including the date of the call, the time of the call, and the name of the adjuster. There is a chance that you were denied benefits because of a minor error you made in your application or even a bureaucratic error made by the insurance company. As such, it may be possible to correct the problem over the phone and to have your benefits application approved.
  • Contact an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) specialist at the DLI. That specialist can attempt to help with your problem, but if your claim is not resolved, you have other options.
  • Go through mediation for resolving your workers’ compensation claim dispute. A DLI mediator trained specifically in workers’ compensation issues can try to help you reach a resolution with the insurer.
  • File an Employee’s Claim Petition form. You do not have to go through mediation or other ADR processes before you seek other methods for appealing your denied workers’ compensation benefits. You can appeal your denial by filing an Employee’s Claim Petition form with the help of an experienced Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney.

What Is an Employee’s Claim Petition Form?

The Employee’s Claim Petition form is the document that an injured worker can file in order to request a hearing when benefits have been denied. The form requires the injured worker to fill out basic information, including relevant names, contact information, dates of injury, dates of employment, information about the injury, and what kind of appeal procedure the injured worker is requesting.

As we clarified above, it is important to work with a St. Paul workers’ compensation lawyer on your appeal. Even the process of filing the Employee’s Claim Petition form can be complicated, and a minor error can prevent you from successfully appealing the benefits denial.

Stages of the St. Paul Workers’ Compensation Appeals Process

Once an injured worker is denied benefits and seeks an appeal hearing by filing an Employee’s Claim Petition form, there are still several stages of review through which that injured worker can appeal subsequent denials. Those stages of review include the following:

  • Workers’ Compensation Division of the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH): Judges in this division conduct reviews of denied workers’ compensation claims.
  • Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals (WCCA): If your claim is denied by the OAH, then you can appeal to the WCCA. The WCCA has the authority to review any decisions made by the OAH in addition to reviewing certain workers’ compensation decisions made by the DLI.
  • Minnesota Supreme Court: If your claim is denied by the WCCA, you still have the option to appeal again to the Minnesota Supreme Court. This is a particularly complex appeals process that your lawyer can help with to ensure that you take the necessary steps for your case to be heard. When you appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court, that court has to decide whether or not it will review your case. With the help of your St. Paul workers’ compensation attorney, you can show that there is a need for the Minnesota Supreme Court to hear your case.

What Should I Do If My Medical or Rehabilitative Benefits Have Been Denied?

In some cases, injured workers file a workers’ compensation claim and receive some benefits, but medical and/or rehabilitative benefits get denied. If you are in this situation, you should contact the insurance company to determine whether the denial was in error.

If the insurance company still refuses to pay medical or rehabilitative benefits despite admitting liability for your claimed injury, you may be able to request a DLI conference by filing a Medical Request form or a Rehabilitation Request form depending on the circumstances. Some cases require the injured worker to go through a dispute resolution process for denied medical benefits.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Appeals Lawyer in St. Paul

Were your workers’ comp benefits denied? A St. Paul workers’ comp appeals attorney can help you. The advocates at our firm have years of experience assisting injured workers with claims and can discuss your rights with you today. If you were injured on the job, you deserve to be compensated for your losses. Contact us for more information.