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A report this week from the Minnesota legislator auditor found that mistakes have lead to three million dollars in underpaid benefits to Minnesota worker compensation recipients. The auditor also found that insurance companies were wrongfully withholding money on clearly legitimate payments. For injured workers, this has to be horrid news on top of the problems they are already dealing with. Even for employers that paid their premiums this news has to be troubling.

As an employer I’m never happy about all of the premiums I pay, but, I realize they are important, I need to protect the firm, myself, and each of my employees. Employers all receive the benefit that the employee can’t sue them unless there is gross negligence and the growing case law suggests that may almost be an impossible standard. So these benefits are often the only protection that many of these workers have.

The report also recommended that department officials keep a close watch on cases where a claim was initially denied, but was eventually paid to target any insurer that might improperly deny a claim. Lawmakers are also directed to hire an ombudsman for workers’ compensation to help injured workers who need help.

Hopefully, this report will push much needed protection for each work and make sure that the companies that are not paying properly, do so and are penalized for the mistreatment. If you have a worker comp claim, it’s important that you talk to a lawyer who works in that area of the law and you are fully informed of all your rights.

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