AllWork Comp TipsWorkers' Compensation Benefits

Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Benefits: Amputation of a Finger or Thumb

By March 29, 2021 No Comments

Impacts following a work injury that causes the loss of a finger or thumb can be devastating to your livelihood and mental health. Minnesota workers’ compensation provides compensation and benefits for losing a finger or thumb while on the job.

In some situations, the loss of a finger or thumb can prohibit your ability to return to work in the same profession. You may be entitled to additional rehabilitation benefits, including retraining. It is essential to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney regarding your loss to determine what benefits may be available to you.

Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Just 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 you. 

Wage Replacement Benefits

Temporary total disability benefits (TTD): TTD benefits are a form of compensation available to you if you cannot work because of a work injury or are released to work with restrictions but cannot find work to meet those requirements.  The TTD rate is two-thirds of your 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 those who are back to work but earning less than they were on the date of disability wage due to a work injury. TPD is calculated at two-thirds of the difference between the pre-injury wage and your 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 your physical disability causes you to be unable to find anything more than occasional employment, resulting in insubstantial income. When you cannot secure a steady job and earn a living from work because of a work-related injury, PTD benefits are your best option. The rate payable for PTD benefits is two-thirds of your 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, mobility, or body function. These benefits are paid according to the compensation schedule established by the Workers’ Compensation Division. The permanent partial disability rating controls the amount and duration of the benefits. It may be payable in one lump sum or weekly increments.

1. Percentage of Disability

The first step is to determine the appropriate percent of disability for the loss of a finger or thumb.

With the amputation or loss of mobility in a finger or thumb, permanent partial disability benefits will be determined under Minnesota Rule 5223.0540.  The percentage changes depending on the affected finger and where amputation of the finger took place.

Amputation of thumb:
  • At metacarpophalangeal joint or with resection of metacarpal bone – 22 percent
  • Through proximal phalanx – 16 percent
  • At interphalangeal joint to middle of distal phalanx – 11 percent
  • Distal to middle of distal phalanx – 6.5 percent
  • Isolated soft tissue loss of the end of the digit greater than one centimeter – five percent
Amputation of index finger:
  • At metacarpophalangeal joint or with resection of metacarpal bone or through proximal phalanx – 11 percent
  • At proximal interphalangeal joint or through middle phalanx – nine percent
  • At distal interphalangeal joint to middle of distal phalanx – five percent
  • Distal to middle of distal phalanx – 2.5 percent
  • Isolated soft tissue loss of the end of the digit greater than one centimeter – 2.5 percent
Amputation of middle finger:
  • At metacarpophalangeal joint or with resection of metacarpal bone or through proximal phalanx – 11 percent
  • At proximal interphalangeal joint or through middle phalanx – nine percent
  • At distal interphalangeal joint to middle of distal phalanx – five percent
  • Distal to middle of distal phalanx – 2.5 percent
  • Isolated soft tissue loss of the end of the digit greater than one centimeter – 2.5 percent
Amputation of ring finger:
  • At metacarpophalangeal joint or with resection of metacarpal bone or through proximal phalanx, 5.5 percent; for dates of injury on or after August 9, 2010, at metacarpophalangeal joint or with resection of metacarpal bone or through proximal phalanx – five percent
  • At proximal interphalangeal joint or through middle phalanx – four percent
  • At distal interphalangeal joint to middle of distal phalanx – 2.5 percent
  • Distal to middle of distal phalanx – one percent
  • Isolated soft tissue loss of the end of the digit greater than one centimeter – one percent
Amputation of little finger:
  • At metacarpophalangeal joint or with resection of metacarpal bone or through proximal phalanx, 5.5 percent; for dates of injury on or after August 9, 2010, at metacarpophalangeal joint or with resection of metacarpal bone or through proximal phalanx – five percent
  • At proximal interphalangeal joint or through middle phalanx – four percent
  • At distal interphalangeal joint to middle of distal phalanx – 2.5 percent
  • Distal to middle of distal phalanx – one percent
  • Isolated soft tissue loss of the end of the digit greater than one centimeter – one percent

2. Amount Paid for the Disability

To find out more on how to convert the percentage to a dollar amount, go to our website here. Our virtual resources can help you calculate the amount you would be owed in the event of a workplace injury or amputation. However, it is always recommended you speak with a Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney about your individual case to confirm the appropriate amount.

Medical Benefits

The employer and insurer are responsible for payment of “reasonable and necessary” medical treatment, which will help cure or relieve 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. 

Mental health treatment may also be covered under medical benefits. Following a catastrophic injury, it is not unreasonable to expect an employee have acute mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or even PTSD. So long as the work injury is a substantial contributing cause to the mental health condition, workers’ compensation would be responsible for the treatment. Pre-existing conditions can also be covered if the work injury exacerbates, aggravates, or accelerates that condition.

Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

Vocational rehabilitation benefits are designed to help you get back to work for your former employer, or at least to a job related to that employment. In the alternative, rehabilitation services can also assist you in finding work in another industry area.

Assistance in rejoining the workforce will produce an economic status as close as possible to that enjoyed before the disability. This assistance may include direct job placement, on-the-job training, or formal retraining. Rehabilitation services can consist of using a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (QRC) to help with medical management, return to work, and job placement.

Not Covered

One of the major downfalls of Minnesota workers’ compensation is that it does not cover everything. For example, it does not cover pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of insurance, or loss of 401k.

Third-Party Liability

Following severe injuries, such as amputation of a finger or loss of a thumb, it is always important to consider whether there may be a third-party case. These are situations where there may be someone else at fault for the injury other than the employer and workers’ compensation.

In many situations involving motor vehicles, malfunctioning machines, defective products, offsite injuries, or assaults, third-party liability is typical. It is important to discuss these situations thoroughly with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

Contact a Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Attorney to Maximize Your Recovery

You can’t anticipate every scenario in the workplace, and sometimes, accidents happen. Dealing with workers’ compensation and disability benefits after the amputation of a finger can be daunting, but you don’t have to do this alone.

It is important to discuss your individual case with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to discover every avenue available to get you in good physical, emotional, and financial standing again. Speak with an attorney from Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law after a workplace injury involving your fingers. A consultation with one of our trusted attorneys is always free, but the advice you receive is genuinely priceless. Call Mottaz & Sisk today.

Jerry Sisk

Jerry Sisk

Jerry is a Minnesota workers' compensation attorney and work injury lawyer. He a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, Minnesota Association of Justice, and Anoka County Bar Association. He has 10/10 on Avvo, 5 Stars on Google, AV Rated through Martindale-Hubbell and National Trial Lawyers Top 100. Currently, he is Co-Chair of the Work Comp Section of the Minnesota Association of Justice.