Your workers’ compensation timeline could extend throughout much of your life. It all depends on your unique case.

Technically speaking, your benefits — and any possible issues that come from getting, managing or protecting them — fall into three categories of expenses. Minnesota’s Department of Labor and Industry lists these categories as wage loss, medical and job rehab.

Starting out

When you get injured, the first thing you probably do is go to the emergency room or to a doctor. Your treatment there should be covered by your employer’s workers’ comp policy.

For long-term injuries — repetitive stress, for example — you may have discovered the problem during a routine checkup with your personal doctor. You might have to work back through your records and decide which medical costs came from your work-related injury.

Getting on track

You probably want to keep your job after your injury, if possible. However, you also get a second, temporary job whether you want it or not: recovering as fully as you can. Your second set of benefits goes towards these types of expenses, which could include:

  • Follow-up appointments
  • Medical scans, such as X-rays and MRIs
  • Vocational therapy

During this time, your doctor may also determine you have a disability from your injury. The doctor would diagnose whether the disability was total or partial and how long it might last. These decisions would have an effect on your benefits.

Staying the course

Some benefits let you access medical services, but others provide compensation for your lost earning potential. In the event that you have a permanent disability, you could be collecting workers’ comp for a very long time. As laws and businesses change, you may find that your benefits come under threat — be sure to keep an eye on these types of shifts in order to protect yourself and your family.