If you need workers’ compensation after getting hurt on the job, it should be available to you regardless of the amount you need. Your employer pays premiums to make sure you’re covered, and you work as safely as possible in return. When you’re hurt, the last thing you should have to worry about is the workers’ compensation benefits fund being out of money.
That’s a problem that the Minneapolis area is facing now, though, according to a May 13 report. Why? A previous lawsuit involving a woman who was fatally shot by the police in 2017, has been settled. The family will receive a $20 million payment, but the city’s self-insurance fund is only $27.1 million in all.
The city typically allocates a budget for the fund each year, since it pays for sick leave, workers’ compensation benefits, attorney fees and liability claims. In 2019, the allocated money set aside was $4.7 million, an amount that has been far exceeded.
This is also happening at a time when the city is seeing more payouts for workers’ compensation claims. The city had allocated $13.5 million to workers’ compensation claims for 2019 despite setting aside only 11.2 million in 2016.
When the fund is low, the city addresses it by looking at where it can cut expenses and if it can raise premiums. The city is looking at raising premiums for the police in particular, but it is not yet clear if workers’ compensation premiums will rise or if the issue can be resolved by cutting expenses in other areas this year.