You walk out to your mailbox, open it and receive a letter. Looking at the letter, you see that it is from your Minnesota workers’ compensation insurance company. Curiously yet apprehensively, you open the letter. It is a Notice of Intent to Discontinue Benefits, also known as a NOID. Shocked, you set it down, find a chair, sit in it, wipe your brow, and ask yourself what does this mean?
The moment notice is given, the clock begins ticking for the discontinuance of your wage loss benefits. If you have an issue with the NOID, you must remember your time is limited. Generally, you have 12 days to file an objection, therefore finding a competent attorney to guide you through this process is paramount.
Once your attorney reviews your case and recommends an objection, the next step is to have your attorney request a NOID conference with the Office of Administrative Hearings. This will initiate the proceedings of a .239 Conference, named after Minn. Stat. §176.239, which details the procedures and requirements of a NOID conference.
Between filing an objection and the .239 Conference, is an interim period of several weeks. During this time, you will not receive wage loss benefits.
Once the hearing begins, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will mediate the disagreement between the workers’ compensation insurance company’s attorney, and your attorney. At Meuser Law Office, P.A. we request that our clients be available by phone so that, if needed, they can testify via the telephone at the conference.
If the ALJ believes that a Notice of Intent to Discontinue Benefits was wrongly issued, then you will continue to receive ongoing wage loss benefits until the issue can be settled at a formal hearing.
Here are 8 common reasons insurance companies issue a NOID:
1. You returned to work at your full rate of pay
2. Your doctor determined you reached Maximum Medical Improvement
3. The insurance company sent you to an Independent Medical Exam and their doctor said you reached Maximum Medical Improvement
4. Your doctor released you to work without restrictions
5. You are failing to comply with your physician’s treatment plan
6. You retired from the job market
7. You turned down suitable gainful employment
8. You are not diligently searching for work
Experienced Minnesota workers’ compensation attorneys can easily recognize mistakes that employers and insurers make when issuing a NOID. For instance, all evidence used to terminate your wage loss benefits must be attached to the actual written NOID. An adjuster cannot bring medical records to a NOID conference as a separate reason to discontinue your wage loss benefits. Such records must be attached to your original NOID to be used in the conference.
If you or your family member has been issued a NOID, it’s important to have experienced attorneys working on your behalf. For a free, no-obligation consultation and to learn more about your Minnesota workers’ compensation rights, PERA disability claims, and personal injury law, contact the attorneys at Meuser Law Office, P.A. at 877-746-5680 today. Remember, the clock is ticking - don’t wait to contact an attorney!