The document arrives in the mail at the injured worker’s home who has been receiving wage loss benefits for the last month. He opens his mail hoping to receive his weekly wage loss check when suddenly he discovers his benefits are being discontinued. This can be devastating for an injured worker and his family especially if the worker is not even sure why the benefits are being discontinued.
In Minnesota, a work comp insurer may not discontinue payment of benefits until the employee is provided with a notice in writing of its intention to do so. The notice must “set forth a statement of facts clearly indicating the reason for the action.” Copies of medical reports relied on by the employer must be attached to the notice. The NOID shall be sufficiently specific to convey clearly, without further inquiry, the basis upon which the party issuing the notice or statement is acting.” It must contain the “legal reason or reasons for the proposed discontinuance or reduction, stated in language which may be easily read and understood by a person of average intelligence and education, and in sufficient detail to inform the employee of the factual basis for the discontinuance or reduction,” along with copies of relevant medical reports.
The WCCA in Powell v. Stein Industry recent held that “the purpose of the form and filing requirements is to ensure the employee is aware the employer and insurer intend to stop paying benefits before the discontinuance, and on what basis, and to notify the employee of the procedures available to protect any entitlement to continuing benefits. In Powell, the employer and insurer’s NOID did not include a statement of facts clearly indicating the reason for the proposed discontinuance; neither was it sufficiently specific to convey clearly, without further inquiry, the basis for the discontinuance; nor did the NOID set forth the legal reason for the proposed discontinuance.
If you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits, we at the Law Office of Thomas Mottaz are workers’ compensation attorneys that help people with Minnesota work injuries anywhere in MN. Contact us for a free consultation and we will answer your questions or help you find the right lawyer for your situation.