At Meuser Law Office, P.A. we are committed to ensuring our clients are kept informed during the Minnesota workers’ compensation claim process and they know what to expect each step of the way. The process can be complex and confusing with many questions along the way. Here are some of the frequently asked questions:
How long does the workers’ compensation insurer have to pay my medical bill?
This is a question the attorneys at Meuser Law Office, P.A. are asked often. The answer is, it depends.
Per Minnesota Statute, the insurer must make payment for your medical bills within 30 days of receiving the bill. Notably, the thirty-day time period does not start to run until the insurer actually receives the medical bill. The relevant date is not the date of service for the appointment.
If the insurer choses to deny a bill, or a portion of a bill, the insurer must provide the employee and the health care provider with written notification of the denial, providing the basis for the denial. The denial must be issued 30 days from the insurer’s receipt of the bill.
When is my wage loss payment considered “late”?
Under Minnesota workers’ compensation law, the insurer must admit or deny liability for a workers’ compensation claim within 14 days of the employer receiving notice of the injury. Wage loss benefits begin three days after an injury occurs, but if your injury takes you out of work for more than ten days, wage loss will be due from the date your disability began (i.e., you will receive compensation for the first three days you missed work). If an insurer does not admit or deny liability within this prescribed period or start your wage loss benefits within 14 days, the insurer is at risk for a penalty.
Once wage loss benefits start, an employee is paid every week or every other week, depending on how frequently the employee was paid when he or she was working. Penalties are available if the employee can provide proof that more than three benefits payments were issued more than three business days late. Unfortunately, there is no penalty for late payments unless it occurs more than three times and each of these late payments were more than three business days late. In terms of “proof,” the following is sufficient to prove you are entitled to an employer-paid penalty:
- A copy of your compensation check stubs (temporary total disability benefits); or
- Documentation of the date on which the wage loss documentation was sent to the insurer (temporary partial disability).
The amount of the penalty is determined by the length of the delay and the amount of the benefits delayed. The amount of the penalty ranges between six and thirty percent of the amount delayed, and the percentage is based upon the length of time that the payment is delayed.
Can I request direct deposit (i.e., electronic funds transfer)?
One way to avoid late payments is to request direct deposit in lieu of paper checks for your weekly or biweekly workers’ compensation payments. One benefit of direct deposit is that you do not have to worry about national holidays or inclement weather slowing down the mail. In addition, you will be able to easily track and monitor the timing and amount of your payments.
The Minnesota State Legislature requires that employers set up direct deposit (or an electronic funds transfer) within 30 days of the employee making the request. If the employer-insurer does not have the electronic funds transfer system established, the employer-insurer must make efforts to establish the electronic funds transfer arrangement within 14 days of the employee’s request, and the insurer must make payment within 30 days of the request being fulfilled.
Contact Meuser Law Office, P.A. for a free, no-obligation case evaluation and consultation. If you have questions regarding a Minnesota workers’ compensation insurer’s late payment of your medical or wage loss benefits, the attorneys at Meuser Law Office, P.A. will take the time to explain the laws that apply to your case and will make recommendations about how to proceed. Call us today at 1-877-746-5680.