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What is the process for a workers' compensation claim?

Workers' compensation is financial compensation for injuries, illness or disease suffered while on the job. Minnesota has a workers' compensation system that covers nearly all workers in the state. The first step to making a workers' compensation claim is to notify the employer of the injury or illness. The employer must then fill out an FROI form for submission to the insurance company. The worker must then seek medical attention if necessary. The doctor will fill out a Report of Work Ability.

The Report of Work Ability will determine if the worker is able to work or if the injury or illness has hindered his or her ability to work. If time has been lost from work due to the injury or illness, there will be a waiting period during while paperwork is processed. During this time, the employer's insurer will fill out and submit the NOPLD claim form, which will result in either a denied or an accepted claim.

If the claim is accepted, there are three different types of workers' compensation benefits that may be paid out. They are not mutually exclusive. The worker should receive medical benefits if hospital or doctor bills result from the workplace injury. The worker may receive wage loss benefits accrued from having to take time off work as well as rehabilitation benefits if a doctor deems special physical rehabilitation to be necessary.

These are loose guidelines that should not be taken as legal advice. Workers' compensation is a complex process, and many rules and regulations could cause a claim to be denied. A workers' compensation lawyer could help to save time and reduce the likelihood of a denied claim. The lawyer could also help with an appeal in the event of a denied claim.

Source: Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, "Workers' compensation -- Follow the process of a workers' compensation claim", September 10, 2014

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