Retraining is a benefit available in the state of Minnesota under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Retraining is a formal education program paid by the work comp insurer which is designed to assist an employee in returning to suitable gainful employment. Retraining may include vocational technical programs or post-secondary education, depending on the employee’s skillset and physical restrictions.
Retraining differs from other types of rehabilitation benefits, wherein an employee may engage in job search with the assistance of a QRC (Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant) to find suitable gainful employment outside of the date of injury employer. Retraining is also different than permanent total disability benefits, wherein an employee is not able to return to suitable gainful employment at all.
The retraining program must be approved by the insurer or court ordered and must be requested before 208 weeks of a combination of temporary total or temporary partial disability benefits are paid. Under Minnesota Statute 176.102, subdivision 11 (d) insurer must provide employees notice of the 208-week limitation for filing a request.