Workers who are members of a union enjoy several benefits. For example, most unions representing employees in Minnesota negotiate access to workers’ compensation for members who get hurt or sick on the job.
Workers’ comp has helped thousands of Minnesotans recover from work-related injuries without putting their families into financial peril. At the same time, getting approved for benefits after you get hurt is not necessarily straightforward.
The union’s role in workers’ compensation
Every collective bargaining agreement has its own procedures for applying for and receiving workers’ compensation. You must follow these procedures or risk losing your right to benefits. Your union should help you with information and guidance on your claim. It can also step in to help speed things along if your employer is dragging its feet on your claim. The collective bargaining agreement may help keep your job open and waiting for you until you can return.
Whatever level of help your union offers injured members, ultimately, you are responsible for making sure your claim is complete, timely and supplemented by convincing evidence. A mistake can delay approval, give your employer a reason to offer you less than you are entitled to, or even reject your claim entirely.
Fortunately, you can get help. A workers’ compensation attorney who regularly represents members of your union will know the rules of the collective bargaining agreement. They will know the process well and minimize the risk of a mistake. Their help with your application can speed up the process. And if you are turned down, a lawyer’s help with your appeal can be invaluable.