As with any type of work injury, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Although the law controls the specific amounts, duration, and types of benefits in effect at the time of the injury, there are four main types of benefits available to an injured worker.
Wage Replacement Benefits
• Temporary total disability benefits (TTD). TTD benefits are a form of compensation available to an injured employee who is unable to work because of the work injury, or who is released to work with restrictions but is unable to find work within those restrictions. The TTD rate is two-thirds of the employee’s gross wage at the time of the injury, subject to certain maximum and minimums. The most you can receive is 130 weeks of TTD.
• Temporary partial disability benefits (TPD). TPD benefits are partial wage loss compensation for an injured employee who is back to work but is earning less than the date of injury wage because of a work injury. TPD is calculated at two-thirds of the difference between the pre-injury wage and the employee’s current ability to earn. The most you can receive is 275 weeks for up to 450 weeks after your date of injury.
• Permanent total disability benefits (PTD). PTD benefits are wage loss compensation where the injured employee’s physical disability causes the employee to be unable to find anything more than occasional employment resulting in insubstantial income. This means that the worker cannot secure a steady job and earn a living from work. The rate payable for PTD benefits is two-thirds of the employee’s gross weekly wage at the time of the injury.
Functional Impairment or Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD)
Permanent partial disability or “permanency” is a payment for the loss of use of, or the loss of body function. These benefits are paid according to the compensation schedule established by the Workers’ Compensation Division. The amount and duration of the benefit are controlled by the permanent partial disability rating. It may be payable in one lump sum or in weekly increments. In cases where there is no specific schedule for that injury, the courts have allowed what is called a “Weber” rating. Under Weber, a doctor may provide an alternative permanent disability rating.
Depending on the severity of the COVID-19, there may a disability rating for lung or vascular damage.
The employer and insurer are responsible for payment of “reasonable and necessary” medical treatment, which will aid in curing or relieving the effects of the work injury. Covered treatments include hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic services, injection therapy, chronic pain management and many other forms of medical care. The right to receive these benefits may be impacted by the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Treatment Parameters depending on various factors including whether the injury is admitted or denied.
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
Vocational rehabilitation benefits are designed to assist the injured worker returning to former employment or to a job related to that employment. In the alternative, rehabilitation services assist the injured employee to return to a job in another work area, which produces an economic status as close as possible to that enjoyed but for the disability. This assistance may include direct job placement, on-the-job training, or formal retraining. Rehabilitation services can include the use of a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (“QRC”) to help with medical management, return to work, and job placement.
Workers’ compensation does not cover pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of insurance, or loss of 401k.