Retraining Plan Success—Getting Retraining Compensation for MN Injured Workers
Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Retraining
As we know, Minnesota workers’ compensation is a limited system with certain benefits including wage loss, permanent partial disability, and medical expenses. One of the more substantial benefits is retraining. Now, not everyone is qualified to be retrained but, if an injured worker is a retraining candidate and a retraining plan is submitted and approved, then the injured worker can be retrained.Retraining is a formal course of study in a school setting which is designed to train an employee to return to suitable gainful employment. In other words, it is not for any employment but, instead, for employment that will help to return the employee to an economic status as close as possible that he or she would have enjoyed without the disability. Recently, we were successful in getting a retraining plan approved for an injured worker to become a high school teacher even though the employer and insurer were denying his right to be retrained. We prevailed at the hearing and the insurance company appealed the decision and we were again successful at the appellate level. See Dahl v. Rice County and Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust.
How do I Request Retraining?
You can make a request for vocational retraining by the discussing the matter with your QRC or Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant. The QRC would then work with you in preparing a formal retraining plan to be submitted to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. It must be approved by State of Minnesota in order for you to be allowed to be retrained. It may also be to your benefit to discuss the matter with an experienced attorney who has been successful in getting retraining plans approved. Often times the injured worker has only one opportunity to get retrained. Failure to take the appropriate steps could potentially cause a retraining plan not to be approved. Discussing the matter with one of our attorneys is free with no obligation to retain us.
What will be included in a Retraining Plan?
A retraining plan must include various items in order for it to be approved by the State of Minnesota. This includes:
- the retraining goal;
- information about the formal course of study required by the retraining plan;
- starting and completion dates;
- preinjury job title and economic status, including, but not limited to preinjury wage;
- a narrative rationale describing the reasons why retraining is proposed, including a summary comparative analysis of other rehabilitation alternatives and information documenting the likelihood that the proposed retraining plan will result in the employee’s return to suitable gainful employment;
- dated signatures of the employee, insurer, and assigned qualified rehabilitation consultant signifying an agreement to the retraining plan; and
- an attached copy of the published course syllabus, physical requirements of the work for which the retraining will prepare the employee, medical documentation that the proposed training and field of work is within the employee’s physical restrictions, reports of all vocational testing
- or evaluation, and a recent labor market survey of the field for which the training is proposed.
Will the retraining plan cover my books, tuition, mileage, and wages?
Yes, if the retraining plan is approved the insurer will cover your books, tuition, mileage and wages while enrolled in the program. Wages are even covered regardless of whether you have used up all or even a portion of your temporary partial or temporary total disability benefits available to you. The insurer may also be responsible for other items such as laptops or computers if required as part of the course of study. Daycare may also be a covered expense.
Retraining constitutes a formal course of study that may last up to 156 weeks in length. In other words, a four-year plan would be out of the picture as it would be beyond the 156 weeks. Retraining is also available to surviving spouse if an employee died as a result of a work-related injury. Not only does retraining include books, tuition, mileage, it also includes wages during the approved retraining plan and up to 90 days after the end of the retraining plan.
When Must a Claim for Retraining be made?
It is important to discuss with an attorney your rights to retraining to and whether you are a retraining candidate. Failure to make a request for retraining before the below deadlines could be a bar to retraining benefits.
- If your date of injury is from Oct. 1, 1995, through Sept. 30, 2000, you must file your request for retraining benefits before 104 weeks of wage-loss benefits have been paid to you.
- If your date of injury is from Oct. 1, 2000, through Sept. 30, 2008, you must file your request for retraining benefits before 156 weeks of wage-loss benefits have been paid to you.
- If you were injured on or after Oct. 1, 2008, you must file your request for retraining before 208 weeks of wage-loss benefits have been paid to you.
What if the workers’ compensation insurer is denying my request for retraining?
Contact our office and speak with a lawyer right away. Our office has been extremely successful in getting retraining plans approved. Our office can assist in filing a rehabilitation request and making sure the appropriate measures are taken to get you retraining.
Want to speak with a Lawyer about Retraining Benefits?
The insurance company knows your rights, do you? Talk to a Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer today by calling (855) 354-2667. It is a free consultation and there is no obligation to retain a lawyer. You can discuss your case with a lawyer and obtain the advice you need to get your life back on track.