Workers often put off reporting a work illness or injury to their employer, or moving forward with a workers’ compensation claim. Perhaps they do not realize the severity of the occupational injury or illness and think they can work through it at first. Perhaps they are unsure of the process. Perhaps they just haven’t gotten to it yet.
Whatever the case may be, matters can get even more complicated if they lose their job before they can report or file for workers’ compensation.
Fortunately, getting workers’ compensation benefits in Minnesota does not necessarily require that a person still be working at the same job. In other words, if you were laid off, terminated, fired or even quit, you may still have a viable workers’ compensation claim.
Similarly, if you are already getting workers’ compensation benefits, but you were laid off, terminated, fired or quit, you should still continue getting those benefits in most circumstances. Your benefits should not be cut off after job loss.
There Are Still Deadlines
This does not mean that you can take your time. Minnesota workers’ compensation law does include time limits, so work injuries or illnesses must be reported as soon as possible, even if it is after your employment has ended. According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, it is best to report the work injury or illness within 14 days. This can be tricky in the case of an occupational illness, as it may not be diagnosed right away. This is typically taken into consideration. In some very limited circumstances, delays of up to 180 days may still be acceptable.
Obstacles To Reporting
What happens if your former employer has temporarily shut down or gone out of business entirely? This may seem like a serious obstacle in terms of reporting the medical condition, but it is important for workers to know that there are ways to move forward and you may still be able to get much-needed benefits.
Do Not Give Up
In the face of job loss and other issues you have to deal with, it can be easy to give up on the possibility of getting workers’ compensation benefits. Know that you have allies who can help and that workers’ compensation is a program set up to help people in situations just like yours. No matter how difficult it may seem, you may still be able to get the medical and wage loss benefits that can be extremely helpful.