Minnesota Lawyers Helping Injured Workers

Wait times for workers’ compensation claims post-COVID

by | Jul 1, 2022 | Claim Process |

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, several industries saw a slow down or a complete stop in business, including the legal system. Federal courts and state courts experienced a significant backlog of cases that are still being worked on. Luckily, this did not apply to the workers’ compensation system in Minnesota.

Minnesota’s work comp system’s response to the pandemic

All non-union workers’ compensation claims are brought before the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) or the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI), depending on the type of benefits in dispute. Here is where our Compensation Judges reside and hear administrative conferences, settlement and pre-trial conference and evidentiary hearings. At the start of the pandemic, OAH quickly became flexible to accommodate virtual conferences and hearings. They utilized telephonic conferences and video hearings. These quick efforts allowed injured employees to have their cases progress without delay. All scheduled proceedings were handled at the same rate and time as pre-COVID.

How long will my work comp claim take?

From the date an injured employee files a lawsuit for either wage loss benefits or medical benefits through OAH, it can take up to one year for the employee’s claim to be heard before a Compensation Judge. Once a lawsuit has been filed, a Settlement Conference is usually scheduled with a judge in six months. During the six months preceding the Settlement Conference, several things need to happen such as, a deposition, an Independent Medical Examination, job search or completion of medical treatment. By the time the Settlement Conference comes around, your case should be in a position to where you and your attorney can discuss settling your claim or moving forward towards a hearing in front of a judge.

Before deciding to attend a Settlement Conference or a hearing, you should discuss your case’s strengths and weaknesses with your attorney. Typically, a hearing can be scheduled 3-4 months after the Settlement Conference so long as the parties are ready to proceed towards the hearing.


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