Thursday, February 12, 2009

Permanent Total Disability (PTD) Benefits In Minnesota- Before 1995, and After 1995

Over the last 25 years, the Minnesota Legislature enacted several laws that substantially changed an injured worker’s entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits. When determining which benefits an injured employee is entitled to, we look at the date of injury.

Even if your injury occurred 10, 15, 20, or even 25 years ago, you may be entitled to ongoing workers’ compensation benefits.

One of the types of benefits that has substantially changed over the years is permanent total disability benefits. Permanent total disability benefits are wage loss benefits available when an employee is permanently completely unable to work as the result of a work injury.

For injuries that occurred prior to October 1, 1995, the duration of Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits is unlimited, meaning that you are entitled to these benefits for the remainder of your life. For injuries on or after October 1, 1995, generally, Permanent Total Disability benefits are typically only available until age 67, or the state retirement age.

In addition, for injuries prior to October 1, 1995, after the employee has received $25,000.00 in PTD benefits, the employer and/or insurer is permitted to take an offset for other disability or retirement benefits the employee is receiving, such as Social Security Disability Income, or PERA disability benefits. After 208 weeks of PTD benefits are paid, and if those benefits are being reduced by an offset, the employee may also be entitled to supplemental benefits. Supplemental benefits are calculated as the difference between 65% of the statewide average weekly wage and the amount of benefits actually received.

Supplementary benefits were eliminated by the Legislature effective October 1, 1995. For injuries after this date, supplementary benefits are no longer available. However, the minimum amount of Permanent Total Disability benefits is 65% of the statewide average weekly wage. This minimum amount, however, is calculated before any offset for Social Security Disability benefits or other disability or retirement benefits.

Determining which laws are applicable to your situation, and making sure you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to can be daunting. We can help. Meuser & Associates has been practicing workers’ compensation law for almost 25 years. We are familiar with both the new laws and the old laws, and we can help make sure you get the maximum amount you are entitled to. Call us at 877-746-5680, or click here to email us to schedule a free consultation and make sure you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to.

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