Protecting Injured Workers
And Their Families For The Short And Long Term

What if a work injury isn’t likely to fully heal with treatment?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Workers in many different professions could get hurt on the job. Some jobs are naturally high-risk. Someone working in a chemical processing facility, for example, is always a machinery malfunction or slip away from a serious injury. Even seemingly low-risk jobs, like office work, can lead to injuries caused by electrical exposure, slip-and-falls and repetitive strain. The Minnesota workers’ compensation system helps to take some of the medical risk out of employment.

If someone suffers an injury on the job or gets diagnosed by their physician with a medical condition directly related to their employment, they may be able to apply for benefits. Usually, workers’ compensation coverage ends when someone fully recovers from their condition and returns to work. However, this is not always the case.

What happens if a worker has developed symptoms that may never go away and that were caused by a work-acquired medical condition?

Certain benefits can last indefinitely

Minnesota workers’ compensation offers both medical benefits and disability benefits for those temporarily unable to do their jobs. If a worker could forever have medical challenges related to their employment, they might qualify for permanent partial disability benefits if they can work but cannot earn the same wages. Workers’ compensation can cover a portion of the difference between their prior income and current paycheck.

Sometimes, employees may qualify for permanent total disability benefits if they cannot work at all because of an injury that occurs on the job. They could continue receiving those disability benefits until they are old enough to collect retirement benefits.

Some workers can return to their employment but may have lingering medical challenges. Medical coverage is often still available to those with ongoing symptoms even if they have achieved maximum medical improvement (MMI). While workers’ compensation won’t cover treatment that is unlikely to resolve someone’s symptoms, it can continue covering symptom management care, such as ongoing physical therapy or pain management.

When a doctor informs someone with a work-related health challenge that their prognosis makes a full recovery unlikely, that individual may have a much more challenging time navigating the workers’ compensation system. As such, learning about the types of coverage available, and seeking legal guidance accordingly can make a major difference for an injured Minnesota employee who is trying to minimize the financial harm that their long-term health challenges have inspired.

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