for workers’ compensation professionals

CONTENTS
TABLES
3

Meet Robin Kelleher, DLI’s new acting
commissioner

4

2003 Special Compensation Fund
assessment methodology change

5

Department document dilemma: duplicates

9

6

Forms forum: E-FROI, the interactive
First Report of Injury; Updated NOPLD, DSR
forms online soon

11 Claimant attorney fees paid with
respect to indemnity benefits, injury
years 1984-2001

CompFact: Hospital charges, payments

8

Avoiding boomerangs; stop documents
from returning

Incidence of disputes, injury years
1984-2001

12 Total legal costs as percentage of total
benefits, 1995-2001
14 Percentage of paid indemnity claims
with a VR plan filed, injury years
1991-2001
Time from injury to start of VR services,
plan-closure years 1998-2001

8

‘Habla Espanol?’

9

Workers’ compensation dispute rate
up in 2000, 2001

19

Hospital charges and payments in
general health care and workers’
compensation, 2000
Change in Medicare and Minnesota
workers’ compensation conversion
factors

7

14

7

15 VR service duration, plan-closure years
1998-2001
16 Return-to-work outcomes, plan-closure
years 1998-2001

Vocational rehabilitation summary
2001 plan closures by employment
outcome

Free publications available online

FORMS
18 Basic Adjuster’s Training registration form

Department document
dilemma:
duplicates

5

Free publications
available
online

26

D-1

1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456
12345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
Recently appointed as the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI)
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
Deputy Commissioner, Robin Kelleher has now agreed to become
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
DLI’s acting commissioner, due to the departure of Jane Volz.
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
Kelleher joined DLI after working as an attorney with Seaton,
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
Beck, Peters, Bowen & Feuss, P.A., a labor and employment law
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
firm.
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
Governor Tim Pawlenty asked for and accepted Volz’s resignation
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
a
week after Volz disclosed she unknowingly failed to purchase
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
workers’ compensation coverage for the employees at the law
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
firm she owned, prior to joining DLI in January.
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
Learn more about Kelleher at www.doli.state.mn.us/kelleher.html.
DLI Acting Commissioner
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
Robin Kelleher
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
COMPACT is a quarterly, online publication of the Minnesota Department of Labor and
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
Industry. Its purpose is to provide department news and workers’ compensation case
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
information to professionals who work within the Minnesota workers’ compensation
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
system.
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
For e-mail notification about new editions
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
Send an e-mail message, with “COMPACT” in the subject line and the subscriber’s name
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
and e-mail address in the body of the message, to DLI.Communications@state.mn.us.
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
An e-mail notification will be sent when each quarterly edition of COMPACT is available
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
online.
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
Correspondence
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
Send correspondence about COMPACT to: COMPACT editor, Minnesota Department of
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
Labor
and Industry, 443 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155. Comments and suggestions
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
may also be e-mailed to: DLI.Communications@state.mn.us
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
Upon request, COMPACT will be made available in alternative formats such as Braille, large print or audiotape.
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
2345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567
234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456789012123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456

Meet Robin Kelleher, DLI’s acting commissioner

COMPACT is online-only:
Sign-up for e-mail notification of new editions of COMPACT

2003 Special Compensation Fund
assessment methodology change
By Philip Moosbrugger, director
Special Compensation Fund

The Special Compensation Fund (SCF) assessment
funds Minnesota’s workers’ compensation programs.
Most of the assessment dollars go to funding the
supplementary and second-injury benefit programs.
The assessment also pays the operating expenses of
the workers’ compensation divisions of the
Department of Labor and Industry, the Office of
Administrative Hearings and the Workers’
Compensation Court of Appeals.
The SCF assessment is presently levied on workers’
compensation insurers and self-insured employers, based on the amount of workers’ compensation
indemnity payments (wage-replacement and permanent disability payments) made by each such insurer
or self-insured employer.
As a result of new legislation by the 2002 Minnesota Legislature, the method of collecting the Special
Compensation Fund assessment has changed for insurers (effective July 1, 2003). Self-insured businesses
will continue to remit based on paid indemnity. The remaining assessment will then be allocated to
insurers as a whole (according to the aggregate indemnity paid by insurers statewide) and divided
among the individual insurers based on the prior year’s Minnesota Standard Workers’ Compensation
Premium (as defined in the statute) written by that insurer. Each insurer will remit on the basis of its prior
year’s written premium in the state.
Insurers are required to pass this cost on to their policyholders by means of a premium surcharge, based
on Standard Workers’ Compensation Premium. Carriers will re-file their rates, effective Jan. 1, 2003,
removing the SCF assessment from their rates, and begin to surcharge policies to collect the SCF
assessment based on Standard Workers’ Compensation Premium. Insureds will thus see a separate
item on their policies, showing the Special Compensation Fund assessment as a percentage surcharge
based on premium.
Carriers will report the prior year’s (2002) paid indemnity and Standard Workers’Compensation Premium
on a form prescribed by the commissioner on April 1, 2003. The Department of Labor and Industry will
advise each insurer of its portion of the assessment due as of June 30, 2003. Insurers will remit the first
half of the annual assessment Aug. 1, 2003. The second half is due Feb. 1, 2004. This change was made
at the request of the insurance industry, to slow the rate of premium increases by freeing up reserves.
Call Philip Moosbrugger, Special Compensation Fund director, at (651) 284-5262, for further information.
4

• COMPACT • February 2003

Department document
dilemma:
D U P L I C A T E S
By Marlana Nierengarten, Supervisor
Information Processing Center

Duplicate images may be great for vacation photographs,
but duplicates do not belong in a workers’ compensation
claim file. Every incoming document is prepared for imaging,
scanned into the imaging system and associated to the correct file. Once associated to a file, each document
remains in the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) database for at least 50 years.
Duplicate images may not seem like such a big problem until you consider that last year DLI’s Information
Processing Center imaged more than 600,000 documents (1.7 million pages). If even a small percentage of
these are duplicates, processing time, image storage costs and even the integrity of the records are adversely
affected. It can be very confusing to read a record that has many duplicates, because it gives a false sense of
what is really going on at a particular time.
The flip-side of sending duplicate documents is sending incomplete documents. Currently, the official version of
some data entry documents is double-sided. The majority of pertinent information on some forms is on the
back page and DLI cannot process such documents if the back page is missing. Most cases of missing information
involve either an altered form or a fax.
How can you help?

Please consider observing the following guidelines each time you submit a document:
• Do not submit the original document after submitting a fax.
• Do not submit documents more than once; do not send in duplicates as attachments to new
forms being filed.
• Please use the double-sided version of forms that have two sides; this eliminates extra calls from DLI
to obtain the information, which slows the processing time.
• When faxing a double-sided document as two pages, please verify both pages transmitted properly.
• Address your documents to the Workers’ Compensation Division rather than to the
Commissioner’s Office. Sending claim-file documents to the Commissioner’s Office
adds at least one day to the processing time.
If you have any questions about document submission, contact Cindy Miner, Information Processing Center
director, at (651) 284-5467, or Marlana Nierengarten, Image Processing Team supervisor, at (651) 284-5259.
February 2003 • COMPACT •

5

Forms forum
E-FROI, the interactive First Report of Injury
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) stepped into the world
of interactive Web forms recently with the electronic version of the workers’
compensation First Report of Injury (e-FROI), available on the DLI Web
site at http://workplace.doli.state.mn.us/apply.
For the first time, self-insured employers, insurance companies and third-party
administrators in Minnesota can file an electronic First Report of Injury form
via the Web.
The process for filing the e-FROI is easy and quick. The first step is to apply
for a user name and password online. Upon approval, usually two to four days,
the access information is mailed via the U.S. Postal Service to the applicant.
The user is then able to log-on, using either Internet Explorer or Netscape, and
file the reports electronically. A print option is available after each e-FROI is
submitted.
The benefits to submitting a First Report of Injury form online include:
• The form is validated up-front, reducing the chance for error and possibly
saving time for the user.
• No postage is needed on electronically submitted forms.
• A complete transaction record of all submitted electronic forms is
available in case of dispute.
• There is no delay in filing, reducing the chance for penalties.
• Fewer follow-up calls should be necessary, because DLI will have all
the information up-front.
To learn more about the e-FROI, visit http://workplace.doli.state.mn.us/apply,
contact DLI by e-mail at dli.eforms@state.mn.us or call (651) 284-5638.

Updated NOPLD, DSR forms online soon
The Notice of Insurer’s Primary Liability Determination (NOPLD) form
and the Disability Status Report (DSR) form are being revised. The revised
NOPLD will have all data fields on the front of the form; a few items that are
also on the First Report of Injury form have been eliminated. The revised
DSR has also had many data elements eliminated.
Due to budget restraints, the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) will not
mail copies of the new forms, but will instead enclose notices about the forms
with other department insurer mailings. The forms will also be available on the
DLI Web site at www.doli.state.mn.us/wcforms1.html for immediate use.
Companies that program the forms internally should update company-created
forms as soon as possible.
6

• COMPACT • February 2003

CompFact:
Hospital charges, payments
Figure 1 shows how hospital reimbursement rates for workers’ compensation compare to general health
care. Workers’ compensation reimburses hospitals at rates significantly higher than other payers.

Figure 1
Hospital charges and payments in general health care
and workers' compensation, 2000
Payments
as pctg.of
charges
General health care [1]
Medicare
MA, GAMC, MNCare
Managed care organizations [2]
Commercial insurance, nonprofit health plans
Other payors
Total

47.7%
50.8%
53.4%
70.6%
67.0%
55.3%

Workers' compensation [3]

84.1%

1. Data from Minnesota Department of Health.
2. Health maintenance organizations and other plans that pay for
services through a preferred provider organization or other
network of selected providers.
3. Computed with Minnesota workers' compensation data for
October 1999 through September 2000 from a large insurer.
Figure 2 shows how health care provider reimbursement in workers’ compensation compares to Medicare.
The “premium,” or percentage, over Medicare paid to health care providers has risen almost steadily
since 1993, when the new Resource Based Relative Value Schedule (RBRVS) fee schedule was adopted.

Figure 2
Change in Medicare and Minnesota workers’
compensation conversion factors

Year

Medicare

1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002

$31.00
$31.96
$33.72
$36.38
$35.42
$35.77
$36.69
$34.73
$36.61
$38.25
$36.20

Annual
change

MN WC

3.10%
5.51%
7.89%
-2.64%
0.99%
2.57%
-5.34%
5.41%
4.48%
-5.36%

$52.05
$52.91
$54.31
$56.35
$59.47
$62.27
$66.41
$69.04
$73.13
$75.18

MN WC conversion factor as a
percentage of Medicare
1
1
For MDs For DCs For PTs
163%
157%
149%
159%
166%
170%
191%
189%
191%
208%

88%
85%
81%
86%
90%
92%
103%
102%
103%
112%

141%
136%
129%
138%
144%
147%
166%
164%
166%
180%

1. These figures reflect adjustment of maximum fees paid to these providers by the scaling
factor applied to relative value units (RVUs).
Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, Research and Statistics, January 2003.
February 2003 • COMPACT •

7

Avoiding boomerangs
Stop documents from returning
Don’t risk having incomplete workers’ compensation forms returned.
Returned forms add repeat administrative costs for the filer and, if the form
has time requirements, late-filing fees are possible.
Minnesota Statutes §176.275, Subd.1, allows the Department of Labor
and Industry (DLI) to refuse any form or document that lacks the:
• name of the injured employee
• injured employee’s Social Security number
• date of injury
• name of the employer
• name of the insurer
(Providing the name of the third-party administrator does not meet the statutory
requirement. DLI must receive the name of the insurance company or properly
authorized self-insurer that is financially responsible.)

If you have any questions about the refusal process, call Susan Ryan,
Information Processing Center office manager, at (651) 284-5241.

‘Habla Espanol?’
To provide workplace safety and health
information to the Hispanic population in
Minnesota, the Department of Labor and
Industry (DLI) has included a dedicated Spanishlanguage page on its Web site.
The Spanish-language page includes basic
information about the department (address,
map, business hours, phone numbers) and
downloadable, translated versions of some of
the department’s most-requested materials,
including the Workers’Compensation Employee
Information Sheet and the Employee Rights
and Responsibilities workplace poster.
Some department materials are also available in
10 other languages; find them on the DLI Web
site at www.doli.state.mn.us/otherlang.html.

8

• COMPACT • February 2003

Workers’ compensation dispute rate up in 2000, 2001
By David Berry, Ph.D.
Research and Statistics

The dispute rate in Minnesota’s workers’ compensation system took a pronounced upward turn in 2000 and
2001. The rate of claimant attorney involvement also increased during the same years. However, while claimant
and defense legal costs increased, they declined slightly as a proportion of total benefits. This article presents
data about these and related developments. It suggests that the current recession may explain part of the recent
increase in dispute rates. (Refer to the glossary, page 12, for definitions.)
Dispute rates

The overall dispute rate rose from 14.8 percent in 1999, to 16.6 percent in 2001 (Figure 1). This followed five
years of stability at relatively low levels compared to the heightened rates of the early 1990s.
Among the four major dispute types, the largest contributors to the increase were the claim petition rate, up 1.5
percentage points from 1999 to 2001, and the Medical Request rate, up 1.1 percentage points during the
same period (1.5 percentage points since 1998).
Figure 1
Incidence of disputes, injury years 1984-2001 [1]
20%

Dispute rate

15%

10%

5%

0%
'84

'86

'88

'90

Claim petitions [2]
Medical requests [4] [7]
Any dispute [6] [7]

Injury
year
1984
1990
1995
1998
1999
2000
2001
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Claim
petitions [2]
8.5%
12.5
10.6
10.5
10.7
11.3
12.2

Discontinuance
disputes [3]
[7]
8.1%
6.4
6.2
6.1
6.7
6.8

'92

'94

'96

'98

'00

Discontinuance disputes [3] [7]
Rehabilitation requests [5] [7]

Dispute rate
Medical
requests [4]
[7]
7.4%
3.8
3.3
3.7
4.2
4.8

Rehabilitation
requests [5]
[7]
5.3%
3.2
3.9
4.2
4.4
4.5

Developed statistics (see Glossary) from DLI data.
Percentage of filed indemnity claims with claim petitions.
Percentage of paid wage-loss claims with discontinuance disputes.
Percentage of paid indemnity claims with Medical Requests.
Percentage of paid indemnity claims with Rehabilitation Requests.
Percentage of filed indemnity claims with any disputes.
Not available before 1989.

Any
dispute [6]
[7]
19.0%
14.8
14.6
14.8
15.8
16.6

Dispute continues ...
February 2003 • COMPACT •

9

Dispute continued ...

Claim denial rates

One factor related to the dispute rate is the rate of
denial of primary liability. The denial rate for filed
indemnity claims rose somewhat in 2001, but the 2001
rate was about the same as in 1997 and 1998 (Figure
2). By contrast, the rate of claim petitions (the vehicle
for contesting a denial) was substantially higher for 2001
than for 1995 through 1999 (Figure 1). Thus, while
the recent increase in the denial rate may have
contributed to the increase in the overall dispute rate,
this factor seems minor.
Other possible explanations

Figure 2
Rate of denial of primary liability for filed
indemnity claims, injury years 1984-2001 [1]
Pctg. of filed indemnity claims

The rehabilitation request rate showed a slower but
more sustained increase – 1.3 percentage points since
1995. Part of this increase is likely related to rising
participation in vocational rehabilitation (see vocational
rehabilitation story, page 14). The discontinuance
dispute rate for 2000 through 2001 was slightly above
1998 through 1999, but not much different from 1993
through 1997.

15%

10%

5%

0%
'84

'86 '88
Injury
year
1984
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001

'90 '92

'94 '96

'98

'00

Denial
rate
7.8%
15.0
15.9
16.1
15.0
14.4
15.8

1. Developed statistics (see glossary) from DLI data.

Denied claims include claims initially denied (some of
What else might explain the increase in dispute rates?
which are eventually paid) and claims initially paid but
In general, disputes are more likely, other things equal,
later denied.
if more is at stake. An obvious consideration here is
the current recession.1 Where claim petitions are concerned, if the insurer denies primary liability, the injured
worker may be more likely to contest the denial in hard economic times. One reason is there is less income
from other family members (particularly a spouse) to fall back on. Another reason is that if the worker is
partially disabled, his or her own earnings prospects are relatively poor in a recession. In either case, the
workers’ compensation benefit becomes more important. These considerations also come into play if the
insurer has accepted primary liability, but denies benefits for a claimed period of disability.

Economic hard times may also affect the other dispute rates. If the family has suffered a loss of earnings or
health insurance or if the injured worker’s job prospects are relatively poor, the worker is more likely to
contest a discontinuance or an adverse decision about medical or rehabilitation benefits.
Another factor is that the past few years have produced relatively poor financial results for insurers.2 Insurers
may be more likely to make decisions unfavorable to the worker in times of financial difficulty, which would
tend to increase dispute rates. However, as shown in Figure 2, this does not seem to have been a major factor
for denials of primary liability since the mid-1990s.
Claimant attorney involvement

As one would expect, the increase in the dispute rate has been accompanied by an increase in attorney
involvement. From 1999 to 2001, the percentage of paid indemnity claims with attorney fees3 rose from 13.0
percent to 14.5 percent (Figure 3 next page). This increase is of similar magnitude to the increase in the overall
dispute rate.

10

• COMPACT • February 2003

Figure 3
Claimant attorney fees paid with respect to
indemnity benefits, injury years 1984-2001 [1]

15%

10%

5%

0%
'84

'86

'88

'90

'92

'94

'96

'98

'00

Pctg. of paid indemnity claims with claimant attorney fees

Claimant attorney fees as pctg. of indemnity benefits —
paid indemnity claims with claimant attorney fees
Claimant attorney fees as pctg. of indemnity benefits —
all paid indemnity claims

Injury
year
1984
1991
1993
1996
1999
2000
2001

Pctg. of
paid
indemnity
claims with
claimant
attorney
fees
10.2%
17.1
15.6
14.8
13.0
13.5
14.5

Claimant attorney fees as
pctg. of indemnity benefits
Among paid
indemnity
Among
claims with
all paid
claimant
indemnity
attorney fees
claims
8.8%
5.2%
9.9
6.7
11.9
7.5
12.3
7.3
11.8
6.6
11.4
6.6
11.2
6.4

However, among paid indemnity claims with claimant
attorney fees, these fees fell from 11.8 percent of
indemnity benefits in 1999, to 11.2 percent in 2001.
Among all paid indemnity claims, the ratio of fees to
indemnity benefits fell from 7.3 percent to 6.4 percent
between the same two years.
Why did claimant attorney fees fall in proportion to
total indemnity benefits while claimant attorney
involvement increased? One possibility is the
$13,000 cap on total claimant attorney fees for a
single claim. This limit has been in place since 1992,
although attorneys may petition for additional fees.4
With increasing indemnity benefits per claim over
time, the cap becomes more of a constraint, tending
to cause total fees to increase more slowly than total
benefits. The degree to which this explains the current
data is unknown.
Claimant and defense legal costs

The above perspective on dispute costs can be
broadened to include (1) costs other than attorney
fees on the claimant side and (2) attorney fees and
other legal costs on the defense side.5 This more
comprehensive measure of legal costs is shown in
Figure 4 (see next page), relative to total benefits
(indemnity plus medical).

While total legal costs grew between 1995 and
2001, they did so more slowly than total benefits.
1. Developed statistics (see Glossary) from DLI data.
Total legal costs fell from 11.4 percent of total
Includes claimant attorney fees determined as a
benefits in 1995, to 9.6 percent in 2001. This relative
percentage of indemnity benefits plus additional
amounts awarded to the claimant attorney upon
decrease occurred for both claimant and defense
application to a judge.
legal costs. In 2001, claimant legal costs were equal
to 3.9 percent of total benefits, as compared with 5.7 percent for defense legal costs. In 2001, total legal costs
were about $83 million, or 7 percent of total workers’ compensation system cost.
The question remains, with the sharp increase in the dispute rate and claimant attorney involvement between
1999 and 2001 (Figures 1 and 2), why did both claimant and defense legal costs fall relative to total benefits
during the same period? One reason is the $13,000 cap on claimant attorney fees, the largest component of
total claimant legal costs. Another reason is simply that rapid increases in medical costs have outpaced other
costs in the system, including legal costs.6
Dispute continues ...

February 2003 • COMPACT •

11

Dispute continued ...

Figure 4

Pctg. of total benefits

Total legal costs as percentage of total
benefits, 1995-2001 [1]

10%

5%

0%
'95

'96

'97

'98

'99

'00

'01

Claimant legal costs [2]
Defense legal costs [3]
Total legal costs [4]

Year
1995
1999
2000
2001

Claimant
legal
costs [2]
4.8%
4.1
4.2
3.9

Defense
legal
costs [3]
6.6%
6.4
5.7
5.7

Total
legal
costs [4]
11.4%
10.6
9.9
9.6

1. Data from DLI and the Minnesota Workers'
Compensation Insurers Association. Includes
claimant and defense attorney fees and other legal
costs paid with respect to indemnity, medical and
rehabilitation benefits. Benefits (in the
denominator) include indemnity, medical and
rehabilitation benefits.
2. Numerator and denominator are developed
statistics (see Glossary) on an injury-year basis.
3. Numerator and denominator are on a paymentyear basis.
4. Sum of first two columns.

Glossary
Administrative conference – An expedited, informal
proceeding where parties present and discuss viewpoints in a
dispute. If agreement is not achieved, a “decision and order”
is issued that is binding unless appealed. Currently, the
Customer Assistance unit of the Department of Labor and
Industry conducts administrative conferences about medical
issues involving $1,500 or less and about vocational
rehabilitation issues; the Office of Administrative Hearings
conducts conferences about medical issues involving more
than $1,500 and about discontinuance disputes presented on a
Request for Administrative Conference form.
Claim petition – A document by which the injured worker
contests a denial of primary liability or requests an award of
indemnity, medical or rehabilitation benefits. Most claim petition
disputes are about primary liability or cash benefit issues. In
response to the claim petition, the Office of Administrative
Hearings generally schedules a settlement conference or
formal hearing.
Customer Assistance – A unit in the Department of Labor
and Industry that provides information and clarification about
workers’ compensation statute, rules and procedures; carries
out a variety of dispute prevention activities; conducts informal
dispute resolution activities including mediations; and conducts
administrative conferences about some issues (see
administrative conference).

Developed statistic – An estimate of what a given statistic
will be when claims are fully mature or have reached a given
maturity. Developed statistics are obtained by applying projection factors (“development factors”) to tabulated
numbers; the projection factors are derived from historical rates of development of the statistics in question.
Disability – A full or partial loss of the ability to earn income.
Discontinuance dispute – A dispute about the discontinuance of wage-loss benefits. Discontinuance disputes
are most often initiated by the claimant’s Request for Administrative Conference form in response to the
insurer’s declared intention to discontinue temporary total or temporary partial benefits. It may also be presented
on the claimant’s Objection to Discontinuance form or the insurer’s petition to discontinue benefits, which
leads to a hearing at the Office of Administrative Hearings.
Filed indemnity claim – A claim for indemnity benefits, whether ultimately paid or not. (See indemnity benefit,
paid indemnity claim.)
Hearing – A formal proceeding about a disputed issue or issues in a workers’ compensation claim, conducted at
the Office of Administrative Hearings or Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals, after which the judge issues
a decision that is binding unless appealed.

12

• COMPACT • February 2003

Indemnity benefit – A benefit to the injured or ill worker
or survivors to compensate for wage loss, functional
impairment or death. Indemnity benefits include
temporary total disability, temporary partial disability,
permanent partial disability and permanent total disability
benefits; supplementary benefits; dependents’ benefits;
and, in insurance industry accounting, vocational
rehabilitation benefits.

amounts are categorized according to the year in which
the payment was made.

Primary liability – The overall liability of the insurer
for any costs associated with a claim when the injury is
determined to be compensable. An insurer may deny
primary liability (deny the injury is compensable) if it
has reason to believe the injury was not work-related,
was intentionally self-inflicted, resulted from intoxication
Injury year – The year in which the injury occurred or or happened during participation in a voluntary
the illness began. In injury-year data, all claims, benefits recreational program.
and other statistics are tied to the year in which the
injury occurred.
Paid indemnity claim – A claim with paid indemnity
benefits. Most indemnity claims involve more than three
Medical request – Medical disputes are often filed on days of total or partial disability, since this is the threshold
a Medical Request form, which triggers an for qualifying for the temporary total disability or
administrative conference at DLI Customer Assistance temporary partial disability benefits paid on most of these
or the Office of Administrative Hearings.
claims. Indemnity claims typically include medical costs
in addition to indemnity costs.
Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Insurers
Association (MWCIA) – Minnesota’s workers’ Rehabilitation request – Vocational rehabilitation
compensation data service organization (DSO). State disputes are often filed on a Rehabilitation Request
law specifies the duties of the DSO and the Department form, which leads to an administrative conference at
of Commerce designates the entity to be the DSO. DLI Customer Assistance.
Among other activities, the MWCIA collects data about
claims, premium and losses from insurers and annually Wage-loss claim – A claim with paid wage-loss benefits,
produces pure premium rates.
specifically, temporary total, temporary partial or
permanent total disability.
Office of Administrative Hearings – An executivebranch body that conducts hearings about administrative Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals – An
law cases. One section is responsible for workers’ executive-branch body that hears appeals of workers’
compensation cases; it conducts hearings, administrative compensation decisions from the Office of
conferences and settlement conferences.
Administrative Hearings. The next and final level of
appeal is the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Payment year – The year in which a payment was
made. In payment-year data, benefits and other financial

1
In Minnesota, the total non-agricultural employment trend flattened in late 2000, and turned downward in 2001. U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics, http://data.bls.gov.
2
See “Explaining Recent Workers’ Compensation Premium Increases,” DLI Research Reporter, September 2002, www.doli.state.mn.us/
reporter.html, especially Figure 3 and surrounding discussion.
3

See note 1 in Figure 3.

4

The 1995 Legislature repealed Minnesota Statutes §§176.081, subd. 2 and 5, which permitted the commissioner or compensation judge to
award fees in excess of the statutory limits. However, in 1999 the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that absolute limits on attorney fees, without
the availability of judicial review, was unconstitutional in the case of claimant attorney fees (Irwin v. Surdyk’s Liquor, 599 N.W.2d 132 (Minn.
1999), Sept. 2, 1999). In 2000, the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals applied this ruling to defense attorney fees (Tucker v. Plymouth
Plumbing, 60 W.C.D. 160 (May 25, 2000)).
5

Legal costs other than attorney fees include costs of independent medical evaluations, depositions and expert witnesses, investigations, medical
reports, copies, court filings, transcripts, and travel and mileage.
6

Data from DLI and the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Insurers Association.
February 2003 • COMPACT •

13

Vocational rehabilitation summary
By Brian Zaidman, Research Analyst
Research and Statistics

Analysis of VR statistics for 2001 shows that while
participation, service duration and total VR costs
increased, average plan costs have not changed and
that a slightly greater percentage of participants
returned to work with their pre-injury employer. These
changes most likely reflect the economic conditions of
the past few years.

Figure 1
Percentage of paid indemnity claims with a
VR plan filed, injury years 1991-2001 [1]

Percentage with plan filed

In Minnesota’s workers’ compensation system,
vocational rehabilitation (VR) services are provided
to injured workers who need help returning to work
because of their injuries and whose employers are
unable to offer them suitable employment. The workers
who use VR benefits tend to have long-duration
workers’ compensation claims with high costs for
indemnity and medical benefits. VR services are
provided to expedite the injured workers’ return to
work.

20%
15%
10%
5%
0%
'91

'93

Background

Insurers (including self-insured employers) are required
to provide a Disability Status Report form if a worker
is not expected to return to work within 90 days of the
injury, or after one of the claim parties requests VR
services be provided. The purpose of the Disability
Status Report form is to report that the injured worker
will receive a rehabilitation consultation to determine
eligibility for services or to document legitimate reasons
for not providing VR services.

'95

'97

Injury

Percentage

year

with plan

1991

17.8%

1993

5.3

1997

15.1

1999

17.0

2000

18.7

2001

21.2

1. Data from DLI. Statistics for 1997-2001 are developed.

Figure 2
Time from injury to start of VR services,
plan-closure years 1998-2001 [1]
15

13.9

13.8
12.3

Qualified rehabilitation consultants (QRCs) registered
by DLI provide VR services. QRCs determine
whether injured workers are eligible for VR services,
14

• COMPACT • February 2003

11.6

12
Months

Minnesota Rules provide that workers who are unable
to return to their pre-injury job, who are unlikely to
return to suitable gainful employment with their preinjury employer and who would benefit from the
provision of VR services are eligible for VR services.
VR services are sometimes provided proactively, to
maintain the workers’ ability and motivation to return
to work with the pre-injury employer.

'01

'99

9
6

5.4

5.1

4.5

4.6

3
0
1998

1999

Average months

1. Data from DLI.

2000
Median months

2001

develop VR plans for those determined eligible and
coordinate service delivery under these plans.

Figure 3
VR plan costs, adjusted for wage growth,
1998-2001 [1]

Figure 1, on the previous page, shows the pattern of
VR utilization from 1991 through 2001. The VR
participation rate increased by 4.2 percentage points
from 1999 to 2001, more than double the increase
from 1997 to 1999. This may be partly related to the
current recession, to the degree that scarce jobs make
return to work more difficult.
Timing of service

Since 1998, the average time between injury and the
start of VR services has steadily declined (Figure 2,
previous page). The mean number of months from the
date of injury until the start of VR services declined
from 13.9 months in 1998, to 11.6 months in 2001.
The median duration from injury to the start of services
for 2001 closures was 4.6 months.
Costs2

The expected total cost for the VR services provided
to workers injured in 2001 is $37.1 million (Figure 3).
This is a slight increase over the $37.0 million expected
for workers injured in 2000, and an increase of 32
percent over total costs in 1998. Because mean plancosts have remained relatively stable at about $5,000
since 1998, the increase in total costs for VR is due to
the increase in the number of injured workers receiving
services.
Summary continues ...

$40

$6,000

$30

$4,000

$20

$2,000

$10

$0
1998

1999

$0
2001

2000

Average cost (plan-closure year)
Median cost (plan-closure year)
Total cost (injury year) [2]

1.

Average
cost

Median
cost

Total cost
($millions) [2]

1998

$5,130

$3,180

$28.1

1999

$4,880

$3,060

$31.1

2000

$4,720

$2,930

$37.0

2001

$4,930

$3,120

$37.1

Data from DLI. Costs are adjusted for average wage
growth between the respective year and 2001.

2.

Developed statistics.

Figure 4
VR service duration, plan-closure years
1998-2001 [1]
12

9
Months

Both the number of workers and the percentage of
claims receiving VR services have increased annually
since 1997, after the system for determining VR
eligibility was clarified.1 Approximately 5,050 workers
injured in 1997 received VR services, representing 15
percent of the indemnity claims. In comparison, in
1991, when VR was eligibility was based more strictly
on amount of lost work-time, approximately 7,500
injured workers received VR services, accounting for
18 percent of the claimants.

$8,000

Total cost ($millions)

On the basis of historical patterns of VR plan filing, an
estimated 6,700 workers injured in 2001 will receive
VR services. This represents 21 percent of the
indemnity claims arising from 2001 injuries and
illnesses.

Average & median cost

Participation

10.6

7.6

11.9

11.4

10.9

7.7

7.9

8.3

6

3

0
1998

1999

Average months

2000

2001

Median months

1. Data from DLI.

February 2003 • COMPACT •

15

Summary continued ...

Duration of services

Return-to-work outcomes, plan-closure
years 1998-2001 [1]

The duration of VR services has increased slightly each
year since 1998. The mean duration was 10.6 months
among plans closed in 1998, and 11.9 months among
plans closed in 2001, a 13 percent increase. Mean
and median plan-durations are shown in Figure 4
(previous page).

Percentage of plan closures

Figure 5

50%

48%

47%
45%

45%

40%
30%

30%

28%

27%

27%

27%

25%

25%

25%

20%

Service outcomes

10%
0%
1998

1999

2000

2001

Job with same employer
Job with different employer
No job

1. Data from DLI.

Nearly three-fourths of VR plans result in the injured
worker returning to work. Among plans closed in 2001,
48 percent resulted in a return to work with the preinjury employer and 25 percent resulted in the injured
worker finding employment with a different employer.
As shown in Figure 5, the percentage of workers
returning to the pre-injury employer has increased
slightly in recent years, while the percentage of workers
returning to a different employer has decreased.

Among workers who return to work, the ratio of their return-to-work wage to their pre-injury wage averaged
101 percent in 2001, compared to 102 percent in 2000, and 97 percent in 1998.
Results by outcome

There is considerable variation in the measures based on the return-to-work status. Figure 6 shows, for plans
closing in 2001, the mean duration from injury to start of services, duration of services, plan cost and return-towork wage ratio by employment outcome. Compared to the other plan outcomes, workers who returned to
their pre-injury employer have shorter durations to the start of services, with shorter plan durations and lower
plan costs, and higher wages compared to their pre-injury wage.
Figure 6
2001 plan closures by employment outcome [1]

Employment outcome
Pre-injury employer
Different employer
No return-to-work

Months
from injury
to start of
VR
8.4
15.4
14.0

Plan
duration
(months)
8.2
14.4
14.7

Cost [2]
$2,980
$7,500
$6,290

Return-towork wage
ratio
105.0%
91.8%

1. Data from DLI.
2. Based on private QRCs employed by QRC firms.

Analysis

Since 1997, participation in VR has increased, driving up the total cost for these services. Injured workers also
have started services sooner after their injuries, the duration of VR plans has been increasing, and an increased
percentage of participants are returning to their pre-injury employer.
The increased utilization of VR services since 1997, and the steady increase in the percentage of plans closing
with a return to the pre-injury employer, indicate employers (and insurers) are increasing their use of the
statutory VR benefit system to provide disability management services to their injured workers. These disability
16

• COMPACT • February 2003

management services include setting up transitional work and work-hardening programs, coordinating job
modifications with functional limitations, facilitating communication between health care providers and employers,
and assisting the injured worker, if necessary, with the treatment plan.
The increased utilization and pre-injury employer return-to-work also may be in response to economic conditions.
During the late 1990s and into 2000, the unemployment rate in Minnesota was less than 3 percent, making
employee retention an important concern for employers.
The increased percentage of plans closing with return to work with the pre-injury employer from 1998 to 2000
shows employers’ increased incentives to provide temporary work and to make job modifications to retain
injured employees. The increased utilization into 2001 may be the result of confidence in the system learned
from the recent past and from employers’ desire to hold down claim costs as workers’ compensation insurance
premiums threaten to increase. Injured workers may also be more willing to use VR services to retain their jobs
than to risk seeking employment elsewhere.
The results by plan outcome also indicate the possibility of a split flow of VR services. Injured workers who
return to their pre-injury employer, or who are expected to do so, enter the VR system earlier and continue to
receive services until the return-to-work occurs. In contrast, workers who do not (or are not expected to)
return to their pre-injury employer enter VR later and require more services for a longer duration, resulting in
higher plan costs.
The extended duration and the loss of the pre-injury job provide added stress to the claim, often resulting in
disputes – 30 percent of 2001 plans closed with a return to a different employer and 58 percent of plans with
no return-to-work were closed with a settlement or a judge’s decision and order. It is also possible that the
causal direction is reversed, with the presence of disputes indicating a break between the employer and employee,
precluding a restoration of the employment relationship.
1
2

These changes at discussed in more detail in Minnesota Workers’ Compensation System Report, 1999, p. 37.
Costs are adjusted for average wage growth between the respective year and 2001.

February 2003 • COMPACT •

17

Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
Compliance Services
Announces two-day sessions of

Basic Adjusters’ Training
March 24 and 25, 2003

June 19 and 20, 2003

Oct. 21 and 22, 2003
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This training is recommended for claim adjusters who have less than one year of experience in
Minnesota workers’ compensation. This two-day training includes:
• Overview of Minnesota workers’ compensation
• Waiting period
• Liability determination
• Indemnity benefits
• Medical benefits and issues, including treatment parameters
• Rehabilitation benefits and issues
• How to file forms
• Penalties
• Dispute resolution
Location:

Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
443 Lafayette Road N.
St. Paul, MN 55155
Minnesota Room

Cost:

$175 per two-day session (includes lunch)

Early registration is encouraged. Each session is limited to 30 people. Classes will be filled on a
first-come, first-served basis. If your reservation is not one of the first 30 received, you will be
contacted about other available sessions.
If you need special accommodations to enable you to participate in this event or have questions about this training,
call Jana Williams at (651) 284-5304 or (651) 297-4198 TTY. The Department of Labor and Industry reserves the
right to cancel a session if there are not enough participants registered.

Registration form
Please register me for Basic Adjusters’ Training. I have checked the session below that I would like
to attend. Enclosed is my check made payable to: Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.
March 24 and 25, 2003

June 19 and 20, 2003

Oct. 21 and 22, 2003

Name and phone:
Company name and address:

Number of months of experience with Minnesota workers’ compensation
To register more than one person from your company for this class, attach a sheet listing additional names,
telephone numbers and number of months of experience. Send form and check to: Attn: Chris Beaubien,
Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, 443 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155.

Minnesota FEI #416007162

> Free publications available online <
These publications — and others — are available on the Department of Labor and
Industry Web site at www.doli.state.mn.us (specific addresses provided below).

Minnesota Workers’ Compensation System Report 2001
• Report highlights:
http://www.doli.state.mn.us/wn02dec1.htm
• Full report:
http://www.doli.state.mn.us/research.html — PDF

Minnesota Workplace Safety Report, 2000
• Full report:
http://www.doli.state.mn.us/rsreport.html — PDF

Prompt First Action Report on Workers’ Compensation Claims, 2002
• Full report:
http://www.doli.state.mn.us/pubwkcp.html — PDF

Collection and Assessment of Fines and Penalties, 2002
• Full report:
http://www.doli.state.mn.us/pubwkcp.html — PDF

An Employee’s Guide to the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation System, 2000
• Complete guide:
http://www.doli.state.mn.us/guide.html

An Employer’s Guide to Employment Law Issues in Minnesota, 2000
• Complete guide:
http://www.dted.state.mn.us/00x04-f.asp
(published by the Department of Trade and Economic Development)

Workers’ Compensation Quick Reference Guide (2000)
• Available in print-version only

Publications are also available in printed versions. To request a copy,
contact Customer Assistance by phone at (651) 284-5030, by fax at
(651) 296-9634 or by e-mail at DLI.brochure@state.mn.us.

February 2003 • COMPACT •

19