Imagine that you’ve gone through the process of filing your workers’ compensation case and meeting all the deadlines only to find out that your claim has been denied. You want to appeal, but how do you go about starting the process? We explain how to best handle a Minnesota workers’ compensation claim appeal in this blog.
How To File A Work Comp Appeal in Minnesota
The first thing you should do after you’ve received a workers’ compensation denial is find out the reason for denial. If your claim is denied, the insurance company is required to explain how it came to the legal grounds to deny your claim. However, we’ve found that these explanations can sometimes be ambiguous or unclear.
Unless the reason for denial is very straightforward and easily rectified, like they are missing a form or some action on your employer’s end, you next step should be to take the denial letter and other paperwork you have on the case to a workers’ compensation lawyer. If you had a lawyer from the start, bring the forms to them, and if you tried to file the claim on your own, now if a great time to seek out professional assistance. Losing your appeal can put you in grave danger of ever receiving compensation for your injuries, so now is the time to lean on a professional.
To formally begin the appeal’s process, your lawyer will fill out a form called the Employee’s Claim Petition. On this form, it will ask about the employee’s injury, how and when it occurred, what medical treatments they’ve received and what injury benefits they are seeking. In addition to the form, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry requires that you include a doctor’s medical report supporting your injury claim. The form needs to be completed and submitted to the MDLI, whose mailing address is:
Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
Workers’ Compensation Division
PO Box 64221
St. Paul, MN 55164-021
You also need to send a copy of the form to your employer and their workers’ compensation insurer. Eventually, you’ll hear back from the MDLI. There response will either be:
Decision & Order – In simple cases over details like medical bills or rehab services, the MDLI may grant a decision and order based on the petition and responses.
Conference Settlement – After reading the petition, the MDLI may try to schedule an administrative conference with both sides. A mediator hears arguments from both sides, and both sides are encouraged to try and come to a conclusion that works for each party.
Conference and Decision & Order – If, at the administrative conference, a happy medium cannot be found, the mediator will issue a decision and order based on the evidence they heard.
Office of Administrative Hearing – More complex cases are sent directly to the Office of Administrative Hearing, where both sides will be heard in front of a workers’ compensation judge.
OAH and Appeal – If your case goes before an OAH judge and you disagree with the ruling they provide, you can then appeal to the Minnesota’ Worker’s Compensation Court of Appeals.
OAH, MWCCA and MSC – If the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals renders a decision you disagree with, you can then try to appeal the case at the Minnesota Supreme Court, the state’s highest level.
For more information on the appeal’s process, or to start an appeal of your own, contact Dean Margolis today.
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