Minnesota workers’ compensation provides that an injured employee can collect up to 66 and two-thirds percent of their average weekly salary for time missed as a result of a work injury. While that can partially offset the financial burden caused by a work injury, you may find that bills will start to pile up if you’re only bringing in two-thirds of what you normally earn each week.
Fortunately, you may be able to tweak your payout a bit to help bring home your normal amount as you recover. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at how you can collect a full paycheck while you’re recovering from a work injury in Minnesota.
Collecting A Full Paycheck After A Work Injury
Minnesota workers’ compensation allows you to collect two-thirds of your normal earnings through wage loss benefits after a work injury, but if that won’t work for your situation, you may be able to help offset that difference. According to Minnesota Statute 176.021, Subd. 5, public sector employers are allowed to supplement their wage loss benefits with money from:
- Paid Time Off/Vacation Time
- Sick Leave
- Compensatory Time
The statute states that public sector employees can use any of the above to make up the additional 33 and one third percent of their wages that are not paid by workers’ compensation. This wage supplementation is completely optional, but it’s available in the event that you need more financial flexibility after a work injury. You may not love the idea of burning your PTO to help provide additional compensation after a work injury, but since you only need to make up a third of your normal paycheck, one week of PTO essentially covers three weeks of missed work.
It’s worth noting that wage loss benefits will be paid by the workers’ compensation system and are nontaxable. If an injured employee opts to use accumulated benefits to make up that additional amount, those payments will be made by your employer, and this payment would be subject to normal taxes and deductions.
Finally, you are only allowed to use benefits that you accumulated prior to your injury in order to make up the difference between your wage loss benefits and your normal average salary. For example, if employees earn two weeks of PTO on January 1st of every year, you would not be able to use that PTO to offset the difference if you were injured on December 27th. Only benefits you accumulated prior to your injury can be used to make up this difference.
For more information about your financial options after a work injury in Minnesota, or to talk to a lawyer to see if you have a valid injury claim, reach out to the team at Hey Workers today at (844) 439-9675.