Monday, June 1, 2009

Minnesota Workers Compensation Tools, Rules and Guidelines

Have you ever been puzzled by the abbreviations and acronyms used by your attorneys discussing your workers compensation benefits? Below I have listed some common workers’ compensation abbreviations and the meanings:

TTD: TEMPORARY TOTAL DISABILITY. Workers compensation wage loss benefits available to injured workers who are off work completely due to their injuries.

TPD: TEMPORARY TOTAL DISABILITY. Workers’ compensation wage loss benefits available to injured workers who are working at a wage loss due to their injuries.

PTD: PERMANENT TOTAL DISABILITY. Workers’ compensation wage loss benefits available to injured workers who are completely and totally disabled from returning to substantial gainful employment as the result of their work injuries. This term does not necessarily mean FOREVER, just for an indefinite period of time.

PPD: PERMANENT PARTIAL DISABILITY. Workers’ compensation monetary benefits available to workers who have suffered a permanent injury.

MMI: MAXIMUM MEDICAL IMPROVEMENT. The date after which no further significant recovery from or significant lasting improvement to a personal injury can reasonably be anticipated, based upon reasonable medical probability, irrespective and regardless of subjective complaints of pain

QRC: QUALIFIED REHABILIATION COUNSELOR. A QRC provides rehabilitation services to workers who are unable to return to their pre-injury employment.

NOID: NOTICE OF INTENT TO DISCONTINUE. A specific form filed by an insurer or employer when they intend to discontinue an injured workers’ benefits. YOU ARE STRONGLY URGED TO CONTACT AN ATTORNEY AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THIS NOTICE IN THE MAIL!

NOPLD: Notice of Primary Liability Determination. A specific form filed by an insurer or employer indicating its initial decision regarding its liability for an injured workers’ claim.

FROI: First Report of Injury. A specific form that an employer must fill out following an injury.

RCD: Request for Certification of Dispute. A specific form filed by an employee or their attorney to certify a dispute regarding medical or rehabilitation services.

SOAF: Statement of Attorney Fees. A petition filed by an employee’s attorney for approval of attorney’s fees in some cases.

NOA: Notice of Appearance of Attorney. Notice filed with the Department of Labor and Industry notifying the Department that an attorney is involved with a workers’ compensation case.

NOBP: Notice of Benefit Payment. A form filed by the workers’ compensation insurance company indicating payment of benefits.

WC: Workers’ Compensation.

WCCA: Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals.

WID: Worker ID Number. New in 2008, the Minnesota Department of Labor begins replacing social security numbers with WID numbers. A WID number is assigned to workers in lieu of using the worker’s Social Security Number for purposes of identification.

AWW: AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE. Used to calculate the amount of wage loss benefits an injured worker is entitled to.

SAWW: Statewide Average Weekly Wage. Used to calculate the maximum compensation rate.

EE: Employee.

EER or ER: Employer.

IR: Insurer.

TPA: Third-Party Administrator. Work comp. insurers frequently use TPA’s to administer their workers’ compensation programs.

FCE: Functional Capacity Evaluation or Examination. An evaluation to determine an injured workers’ capacity for physical activities.

IVE: Independent Vocational Evaluation or Examination. An evaluation to determine an injured workers’ vocational abilities.

RTW: Return to work.

PT: Physical Therapy.

ROM: Range of Motion.

TBD: To be determined.

DOI: Date of injury.

DOL: Date of loss.

OAH: Office of Administrative Hearings. In Minnesota the main offices are in St. Paul and Duluth.

DOLI: Department of Labor and Industry.

SSDI: Social Security Disability Insurance.

IME: INDEPENDENT MEDICAL EXAMINATION. An examination conducted by a doctor hired by the employer or workers’ compensation insurance company. The examination should actually be called an ADVERSE EXAMINATION given there is nothing independent about it. This doctor is NOT your treating doctor and is a hired “gun” by the employer and insurance company.

ADR: Alternative Dispute Resolution, including mediation or arbitration.

At Minnesota Disability and Atkinson Law Offices, Attorney Thomas Atkinson will gladly answer any of your workers compensation questions. With nearly two decades of workers compensation experience, including years an attorney for the same insurance companies denying your benefits, he can help you maneuver the system to your advantage. Contact him at 651-324-9514 or visit