Minnesota Lawyers Helping Injured Workers

Denied Workers’ Compensation Claims In MN

Have you applied for workers’ compensation in Minnesota and been denied? Have your benefits been cut off or reduced prematurely? You must act quickly to protect your rights. There are strict deadlines that must be followed when a workers’ compensation claim has been denied in Minnesota.

How To Appeal A Workers’ Comp Denial In MN

At Midwest Disability, P.A., in Minneapolis, our worker’s compensation lawyers have a successful track record getting denied workers’ compensation claims approved. Our attorneys take fast action after a work comp claim denial in order to protect our clients’ rights and move forward with the claim process.

We offer free consultations and work on contingency fees. Call 888-387-4135 to schedule an appointment.

Administrative Law Judge Hearings

There are various levels of workers’ comp appeals. The first is a hearing before an administrative law judge. With years of experience on our side, our lawyers are skilled at these hearings. We prepare for them carefully, ensuring that we have the necessary medical evidence and other documentation to make it clear to the judge why you need workers’ compensation benefits. At the hearing, the judge will listen to testimonies, review evidence, and issue a written decision. Our goal is to get a positive decision.

Workers’ Compensation Court Of Appeals

If the administrative law judge denies your claim, that is not the last step. When necessary, we will take your case to the next level, the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals. This is a significantly different style of appeal. There is no hearing. We must instead prepare all of the evidence carefully in written form to make certain the board understands why we are requesting workers’ compensation benefits. Our MN denied work comp claim lawyers are skilled in these types of appeals.

Minnesota Supreme Court

Our denied workers’ compensation attorneys strive for success in administrative law judge hearings and through the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals, and we have an impressive track record of getting benefits at these levels of the appeals process. However, there are further levels. If necessary, we can take your appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court in order to seek the benefits you need.

Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim FAQs


There are many reasons why your workers’ compensation claim may be denied, but there are four main categories in which these denials land:

1) Failure to Report

By law, you have 180 days to report your injury to your employer. If you fail to put your employer on notice of your injury, the workers’ compensation insurer can argue that you failed to timely inform the employer. This can leave you ineligible for any workers’ compensation benefits, including wage loss and medical expenses.

It’s best to report your injury within 180 days in writing and keep a copy of your communication whether that be by email, text, or the incident report.

If you failed to formally report your injury to your employer, it may not be the end of your claim. If your injury occurred in front of a supervisor or a manager, your attorney can argue that the employer had actual notice of the injury. This would effectively remove your duty to report the injury.

2) No Medical Support

When you report a work injury, your employer should then inform its workers’ compensation insurer that an injury has occurred. At that point, the insurer should reach out directly to the injured employee to open a claim.

An adjuster, who works on behalf of the insurer, will send the injured employee medical authorizations to sign and date. Once the employee has returned the authorizations to the insurer, the insurer will request medical records to determine whether a work-related injury occurred.

If the medical records do not establish a work injury, the adjuster will deny the injury for lack of medical support. It is vital that an injured employee tells the medical provider that the injury occurred at work and how the injury occurred. From there each medical visit should be labeled as work comp.

3) Independent Medical Exam (IME)

A huge red flag that indicates your workers’ compensation claim is about to be denied is an Independent Medical Examination (IME). If an injured employee receives a notice in the mail stating they have been scheduled for an IME, they should prepare for their claim to be denied.

An Independent Medical Examination is where the workers’ compensation insurer has hired a doctor to perform a physical examination and write a report providing their expert medical opinion on whether you either had a work-related injury or whether your work-related injury has resolved.

More times than not, these reports do not support an injury or ongoing injury. Rather, this report provides the insurer with enough medical support to deny the claim.

4) Invasive treatment

Some insurers will approve medical treatment or pay wage loss related to a work injury for a brief period. When more invasive, or expensive, treatment is recommended, such as injections or surgery, the insurer will decide that they do not want to pay.

When you receive a denial of your work injury, you can appeal this decision by filing a lawsuit against your employer and workers’ compensation insurer. Depending on the denial, whether it is a medical only denial, wage loss only denial, or both, you can file an appeal at the Office of Administrative Hearings or at the Department of Labor and Industry. Both of which are in Saint Paul, Minnesota. An attorney can help you determine which route your claim needs to go.

A lawyer’s favorite answer is “it depends.” But, unfortunately, it’s true. It depends on whether you properly reported the injury in a timely manner and whether you have a supportive doctor establishing your work duties/activities caused your injury.

Talk with your treating doctor about whether they support your work injury early in the process. If you have a supportive doctor that can put down, with specificity, that your work duties caused your injury then you have a fighting chance in winning your claim. Is this a guaranteed win? No, but it’s a start.

If you receive either a written denial of your work injury or hear from your medical provider’s office that the treatment is denied by work comp, you should seek advice from a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf that seeks either wage loss, medical expenses, or both.

There are many different avenues that are available to you to reinstate certain workers’ compensation benefits. For example, if medical only is denied, your attorney can file a Medical Request with the Department of Labor and Industry for payment of those bills or to seek approval of certain medical treatment that is being recommended by your medical provider. On the other hand, if wages are being denied by the workers’ compensation insurer, your attorney can request a conference or file a Claim Petition with the Office of Administrative Hearings.

While you are not required to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer, it is recommended that you do so to have the best chance of winning your claim. The workers’ compensation system is confusing, frustrating, and time consuming. A skilled lawyer can take this burden off your shoulders and guide you through the process.

On average, it can take one year from the date you file the lawsuit. When you file a lawsuit through the Office of Administrative Hearings, you will be scheduled for a Settlement Conference within 6 months. At the Settlement Conference, the judge will ask the attorneys whether the claim is ready for settlement or if it should be scheduled for a hearing. If the case is to proceed towards a hearing, the hearing can be scheduled after that point in time, which typically is around the one year mark from filing.

There are, however, many things that could delay the hearing. For example, if your doctor recommends surgery, you and your attorney may elect to delay the hearing so that you can have surgery and recover before proceeding before a judge or engaging in settlement discussions.

On the other hand, you can expedite a hearing by filing a Financial Hardship Affidavit. This document outlines your monthly expenses and debts. You can also attach eviction notices, shut-off notices, final warning statements, etc. to show the court that you are facing homelessness due to your inability to work. If the judge agrees that you are experiencing financial hardship, the judge can schedule your hearing well before the one year mark.

Following a hearing, if the judge denies all or part of your claim, you have the right to appeal his or her decision to the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals, which is a special court hearing only these types of cases. Your attorney will advise you as to the appealability of particular issues and then, if you choose to appeal, will write a brief and argue the case to the court. This process often takes six months or more due to the length of time the court provides to each side to prepare. The court will then issue a decision on the appealed issues. If your case is denied at this level, you may then appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the state. All decisions from this court are final.

Yes! You can and should work if you are able to do so. The workers compensation system is designed to get people back to work as soon as possible and so any effort you make to try to work will signal to the judge that you are trying to comply and he or she will likely look at your case more favorably. And remember that you do not need to keep working for the same employer you were injured at. If they let you go or you are just unable to keep doing that job, you can and should find another job that you are capable of doing, and keep track of your job search efforts so we can make claims for the periods of time you were off work.

The law states that you have 180 days to report your injury in Minnesota. That means you have up to six months from the time you were hurt to make a report of injury to your employer. This should be in writing but does not have to be – it’s just much easier to prove you did it if there is physical evidence.

If your claim was denied, you have three years to appeal (file a lawsuit) to the Office of Administrative Hearings, which is the court that hears these cases. However, if the insurance company did not file a report of injury with the state, you have six years to file.

But if your claim was accepted, even temporarily, and any benefits were paid (even if they just paid for the initial visit to the doctor), there is no time limit.

This is one of the trickier issues in the Workers Compensation system, so even if you think you ran out of time, give us a call to discuss. We have had numerous successful lawsuits in cases where our clients were reluctant to call due to thinking they were out of time.

This is a very common question and is quite difficult to answer. It does not depend on how much pain you are in or on the body part you injured. Your case value will depend on a few factors:

  • Your average weekly wage which determines your compensation rate
  • How long you have been and will likely to be out of work
  • Doctor support: the quality and quantity of medical support we can get from your providers
  • The expense of the medical treatment you have or likely will need

Free Denied Workers’ Comp Claim Consultation

For over 50 years, our top-rated workers’ comp claim lawyers have helped 10,000+ injured workers recover the benefits they deserve. Contact our lawyers today, to help with your denied Minnesota worker’s comp claim. Free consultation.

Schedule your free consultation at Midwest Disability, P.A., today by calling 888-387-4135​ or contacting us online

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