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How to Appeal a Denied Workers Comp Claim

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Posted By KSK Law | February 27 2023 | Workers' Comp

Sustaining an injury or illness while on the job can be a harrowing experience. It can affect your ability to work and earn an income. Fortunately, Minnesota workers’ compensation laws require employers to provide benefits to injured workers to cover medical expenses and lost wages. 

Unfortunately, not all workers’ compensation claims are approved. If your claim has been denied, there are steps you can take to appeal the decision and recover benefits to help pay for medical care, lost wages, and long-term disability.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you are not already working with a lawyer for your workers’ compensation claim, your first step is to obtain legal representation. Navigating the workers’ comp system can be complex, and it is best to have someone with strong knowledge of the process on your side. 

A Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand your rights, gather evidence, and build a case to support your appeal. They can also prepare all required paperwork and represent you during your hearing with the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry (MDLI) or the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).

Gather as Much Evidence as Possible

Before proceeding with an appeal, it is essential to understand why your claim was denied. You should obtain a copy of the claim file and review it thoroughly. You may find that there is missing information or that the employer is disputing the claim.  With this information, your attorney can build a strong case challenging the insurance company’s decision.

You should also ensure that you have all evidence related to your workplace injury and treatment. You would have likely submitted this information with your original workers’ comp claim, but some records may have been missed. Gather all medical records, photographs, videos, witness statements, and other documents that pertain to your case.

File the Appeal

Next, you will start the appeal process by filing an Employee’s Claim Petition with the MDLI. You will also need to send this document to your employer and its workers’ compensation insurance company. The insurance company will then need to file a response.

After receiving these materials, the MDLI may:

  • Issue a Decision & Order if there is enough evidence in the Petition and the response
  • Schedule an administrative hearing, which is best for cases involving medical treatment or rehabilitation disputes
  • Schedule an OAH hearing, which is best for complex cases or a claim of severe financial hardship

Prepare for and Attend Your Hearing

If you are scheduled for an OAH hearing, you and your attorney will attend. Your lawyer will present evidence and negotiate on your behalf during this proceeding. After the hearing, the final decision will be issued; if you disagree with this decision, you have the right to file an appeal with the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals.

When your workers’ compensation claim is denied, it is essential to take action right away. A lawyer can help you navigate the appeals process and fight for the benefits you deserve. As soon as possible following your workplace injury, schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case with a Minneapolis workers’ compensation attorney.

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