State of Minnesota Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation coverage provides workers’ compensation benefits to employees if they suffer a work-related injury or illness. It can also help protect employers from employee lawsuits. Work injuries include:1
- Traumatic injuries
- Occupational diseases
- Repetitive-type injuries
- Qualifying mental injuries
The Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act outlines workers’ comp laws in the state. According to Minnesota state law, every employer must get workers’ compensation coverage.2 There are few exceptions to this law.
Employers in Minnesota are the ones that purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Most businesses can buy coverage through private insurance companies, like The Hartford. Some businesses with high levels of risk will need to work with an insurance agent to buy coverage through the assigned-risk pool.3 They can also call the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Insurers’ Association at 952-897-1737 to get more information on the assigned-risk pool.
Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage
Workers’ compensation provides benefits to employees hurt on the job. It also helps protect employers from lawsuits. In Minnesota, workers’ compensation benefits can include:
- Partial replacement of lost wages
- Help covering an employee’s medical costs
- Finding vocational rehabilitation
Some examples of injuries that workers' comp can help cover are:
- An employee has been improperly lifting boxes for months. He develops back and shoulder pain. He has to miss work to attend physical therapy sessions. Workers' comp can help cover the ongoing care costs.
- An employee is driving to Minneapolis to make a delivery. He loses control of the car and crashes. He's taken to the hospital for minor injuries. Workers' comp can help pay his medical costs.
- An employee falls off a ladder and fractures her leg while stocking shelves. She goes to the hospital and finds out she needs physical therapy to help with her recovery. Workers' comp insurance can help cover her medical treatment costs.
- An employee injures his back from carrying a box at work. Workers’ compensation insurance can help cover the medical expenses to treat his back.
It's important to remember workers' comp doesn't cover every type of injury. For example, workers' comp doesn't provide benefits if an employee:
- Gets sick or sustains a personal injury outside of work
- Is intoxicated at the time of the accident
- Intentionally injures themselves in a workplace accident
Minnesota workers’ compensation requirements state all employers are required to purchase workers’ comp coverage. According to Minnesota workers’ compensation law, businesses must become self-insured if they don’t buy insurance.4 Not all workers’ comp policies are the same. At a minimum, coverage should include:5
- Help covering an employee’s cost of medical care
- Wage-loss benefits that pay a portion of lost income
- Permanent bodily damage benefits
- Death benefits to a surviving spouse or dependents
- Vocational rehabilitation services
- Travel mileage for treatment and rehabilitation
Proof of coverage is a formal document that helps businesses prove they have workers’ comp coverage. Also known as a certificate of insurance, the document can include details about what and who is covered under a business’s policy. Get a quote for coverage today and learn more about getting proof of coverage.
Who Chooses the Physician in Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Policies?
In most cases, Minnesota workers’ compensation policies allow employees to pick their own health care provider.6 The provider sends all bills and supporting information to the insurer. Health care providers must also notify the insurer before surgery or hospitalization, except in emergencies.
Your insurer or employee can ask for a second opinion on any non-emergency treatment. Health providers can’t bill employees unless the insurer determines a treatment isn’t from the work-related injury or illness.7
Monetary Benefits Available Through State of Minnesota Workers’ Compensation
In Minnesota, disability begins on the first day an employee can’t work. Wage-loss benefits begin on the fourth day of disability. If an employee still can’t return to work after 10 calendar days, compensation is owed from the first day the employee was unable to work.8
There are two types of temporary disability covered under Minnesota workers’ comp:
- Partial disability
- Total disability
An employee can get temporary partial disability (TPD) if they receive a lower weekly wage after they're injured. The gross weekly pay before the injury is compared to their pay after their injury. The employee receives two-thirds of the difference, with maximum limits.9
Permanent partial disability is paid to employees who suffer a permanent functional loss of use. A rating is used to determine how much of a disability there is compared to the body as a whole. The percentage is then multiplied by a dollar amount or a number of weeks. This results in the disability benefits available. For example, an employee gets injured while using malfunctioning machinery. He goes to the hospital, where doctors tell him he needs to have his arm amputated. The amputation results in a permanent functional loss of the use of his arm. He can receive permanent partial disability.10
Temporary total disability (TTD) is paid if a work-related injury leaves an employee unable to work. Two-thirds of the employee’s gross weekly wage at the time of the injury is paid, with maximum and minimum limits. Employees receive benefits at the same rate as their pay schedule.11 For example, an employee throws out her back while working with heavy equipment. Because of her injury, she's unable to work for a month. She can receive TTD.
Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act
The Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act passed in 1913. Since then, it’s been amended many times. 12 Current details on the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act can be found online at the State of Minnesota Legislature website.
Employers Exempt From Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Requirements
Some businesses may be exempt from needing to buy workers’ compensation insurance. For example, a business that only works with subcontractors is exempt from Minnesota’s mandatory coverage. Exceptions, however, are commonly misunderstood. This can leave businesses open to hefty fines and lawsuits. Sometimes a subcontractor is considered an employee by law, leaving businesses liable.
It’s never a good idea to guess if your business is exempt. If you’re unsure if your business needs mandatory coverage, give us a call at 855-829-1683. Our insurance specialists can help answer your questions. You can also contact the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry at 651-284-5070 or 800-342-5354.
More About Workers’ Comp Coverage in Minnesota
Minnesota workers’ compensation insurance from The Hartford can help cover:
A work-related accident or injury. When an employee gets injured on the job, workers’ comp can cover their costs for medical treatment. This includes trauma, emergency room visits and more.
Ongoing care costs that can be necessary to help an employee recover from a work-related injury or illness. This can include physical therapy or surgery.
Funeral costs if an employee loses their life on the job. Workers’ comp can also provide death benefits to the employee’s dependents.
Illnesses caused by exposure to allergens or harmful chemicals in the workplace. Workers’ comp can help pay for an employee’s medical care needed if they become sick from their job.
Repetitive stress injuries caused by years of harmful, repeated motions. A common repetitive stress injury is carpal tunnel syndrome. Workers’ comp can help cover an employee’s cost of treatment and any rehabilitative care needed to treat these injuries.
Missed wages if an employee takes time off from work because of a work-related injury or illness.
Disability benefits if an employee is left with a disability from their work-related injury or illness.
Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Claims
To file a workers’ compensation claim in Minnesota, visit our claims page today.
This article provides general information, and should not be construed as specific legal, HR, financial, insurance, tax or accounting advice. As with all matters of a legal or human resources nature, you should consult with your own legal counsel and human resources professionals. The Hartford shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, special, consequential, incidental, punitive or exemplary damages in connection with the use by you or anyone of the information provided herein.
3, 4 Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, “Work Comp: How to Obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance”
6, 7, 8, 9, 11 Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, “An employee’s guide to the Minnesota workers’ compensation system”
10 Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, “Work Comp: Disability Benefits – Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)