NEWS / Legal News - May 2023

2023 Legislature Changes: Minnesota Workers' Compensation Act


Permanent Partial Disability is increasing for dates of injury on or after October 1, 2023 to the following:

New PPD Chart

(Effective August 1, 2023)

Minn. Stat. §176.081 subd. 1 Changes

Under the statutory changes, the Department of Labor and Industry must certify a dispute 30 days after a request for a Certificate of Dispute was filed with the Department if all of the following apply:
  1. Benefits remain pending or denied;
  2. The employee, their attorney, or the treating provider has submitted all additional information requested by the insurer to determine whether the requested benefit is disputed or approved; and
  3. The Insurer has had at least 7 calendar days to review that information.
In cases of non-emergency surgery, if a second opinion or independent medical evaluation is requested by the insurer, the dispute will be certified if more than 45 days have passed following the written request for examination or second opinion and the above 3 criteria have been met.


If you receive a call or email from DOLI regarding a Request to Certify a Dispute, review the file and determine whether or not you have all of the information necessary to make a decision. If not, let DOLI know what information you lack and make clear this dispute cannot be certified under the new statutory scheme until all of the required information has been provided. Attorneys at Aafedt Forde can also help you review the Request and determine what, if any, information you should ask for to allow yourself adequate time to admit or deny the requested benefits.

(Effective August 1, 2023)

The changes in Minn. Stat. §176.081, subd. 1 now limit when an attorney can claim attorney's fees. For medical or rehabilitation disputes, no fee is available for services performed before a certification of dispute has been properly filed and certified as a dispute. The practical effect of this language may limit claims for fees for the initial consultation and the employee’s counsel preparing the case prior to filing a certification of dispute. It also makes clear that, if a dispute for medical or rehabilitation benefits is not certified because it is admitted and paid for, the attorney is not due any fees.

(Effective Immediately)

Under Minn. Stat. §176.135, subd. 1, artificial members, glasses, artificial eyes, orthotics, dental bridges, hearing aids, canes, crutches, or wheelchairs, purchased under this statute and customized specifically for the injured worker, are now the property of the injured worker.


Unless something is customized specifically for the injured worker, it can be rented out (crutches, wheelchairs, etc.) and returned. Property that is customized, cannot be returned and the employer and insurer have no control over those customized medical devices.

(Effective August 1, 2023)

Minn. Stat. §176.135, subd. 1a will now require an insurer within 7 calendar days from receiving the request from the health care provider or employee, approving it, denying it, or requesting additional information, requesting a second opinion, or requesting an IME.

Notice of the second opinion or IME must be sent to the employee and the provider within 7 days from the request for surgery. Failure to obtain a second surgical opinion is not reason for nonpayment of the charges for surgery and the employer or insurer is required to pay reasonable value of the surgery unless a judge or the department determines that surgery was not reasonably required.


Upon receipt of a surgical request, start by reviewing whether you have all of the necessary reasonable information regarding surgery. If not, you have the right to request additional information in writing from the employee and the provider. Make sure that request is out within seven days. In the meantime, if you believe an IME is going to be necessary, schedule it immediately, so you can buy yourself adequate time to obtain it.

Changes to Minn. Stat. §176.155, subd. 1:

An employee is now allowed to bring a witness, at their own expense, to their IME.

IME reports must be served upon the employee and their attorney no later than 14 calendar days from the issuance of the report.

Any request for the extension of the 120-day IME deadline post-Claim Petition must be filed within 120 days unless 1) there is a change to the nature and extent of the employee’s injury; 2) a change to permanency benefits; 3) a new claim for indemnity benefits; 4) the employment relationship is not admitted by an uninsured employer.


Make sure you serve the final IME report on the employee and their attorney within 14 days of receipt. Attorneys at Aafedt Forde will work with you to ensure that any IME extensions are timely filed and that we take full advantage of this procedure, written into statute, allowing for IME extensions or additional IMEs should the employee’s claims shift post-120 days.

(Effective August 1, 2023)

Under revisions to Minn. Stat. §176.239, subd. 6 and subd. 7, the basis for the discontinuance are limited to the basis stated on the NOID at the time of the .239 administrative conference. However, Employers and Insurers can now introduce exhibits (must be e-filed at least 24 hours in advance per the standing rules) at the administrative conference.


NOIDs should continue to have strong and broad language regarding the reasons for discontinuance, as well as adequate medical or legal support. However, you are no longer limited to the four corners of the NOID attachments at the administrative conference. Prior to the conference, review the NOID and any medical records or QRC records that may be necessary to supplement. Attorneys at Aafedt Forde can help you draft your NOID language, select documents, and even represent the Employer and Insurer at these conferences to ensure that discontinuances are upheld.

(Effective August 1, 2023)

The legislature has tightened up the requirements for filing a Claim Petition under Minn. Stat. §176.291. If a Claim Petition lists multiple injuries and dates of injury and/or multiple body parts, it must also include medical support for each injury.

Failure to do so allows a Claim Petition to be stricken or dismissed by Motion. Thereafter, the employee has 30 days to correct that deficiency, or the petition will be stricken from the calendar or dismissed. Cases that have been stuck for 180 days (down from 1 year currently) may be dismissed upon motion or the judge’s own initiative.

The Employee must now also provide a list of health care providers and authorizations for each provider within 14 days of a request for discovery (down from 30 days) or the petition may be stricken.


These changes provided added leverage to obtain additional information from the Employee at a much faster speed. Rather than having to delay cases and keep them active for employees who do not timely pursue their claims, respond to discovery, or provide the barest of information on the Claim Petition, we can move to dismiss or strike and force the employee to provide information or take the matter off of the active trial calendar or be dismissed all together.


Attorneys at Aafedt Forde are here to help walk you through these changes and assist you as the law, both statutory and as case law continues to change. If you have any questions regarding these changes, please feel free to reach out!