Workers' Compensation Advisory Council Negotiates New Proposed Changes

The Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council today issued a summary of the new proposed changes for workers’ compensation in Minnesota. These changes include:

1. Repealing the Spaeth decision.

2. Implementation of pain contracts.

3. Changing the data collected on the prevailing charge from the current one year to two years.

4. Patient advocate two year pilot program for back fusions.

5. Increase maximum weekly benefit to 102% of the SAWW for all wage loss benefits.

6. COLA delay reduced to 3 years and COLA cap increased to 3% for all wage loss benefits.

7. Cover mental – mental cases for traumatic events. Use Chamber language with clarification that physical/mental injuries are also still compensable (current law).

8. Rehabilitation changes:

a. Job search/placement services would be limited to 20 hours per month; at 3 months of job search/placement there is a mandatory review. Job placement services would end unless parties agree to an additional 3 months of job placement services OR ordered by DLI or other options are chosen such as jobs skills enhancement, retraining, etc; and at 6 months job search/placement services would end. An injured worker would have to do further job search on his/her own.

b. DLI will hold any rehabilitation conference within 14 days of receipt of any Rehabilitation Request. Services to the injured worker would continue during the time the conference would be scheduled or heard.

c. QRC’s are not allowed to operate in the capacity of disability case manager.

9. Increase injured worker attorney fee cap to $26,000 – make it a straight cap of 20% and injured worker attorneys waive subdivision 7 fees on Roraff/Heaton.

For more information about these proposed changes, which will be drafted by the Revisor’s office prior to implementation, please click here.