1976 Laws of Minn. Chap. 134 Sec. 78 reads in part: The name of the workmen's compensation commission is changed to the workmen's compensation court of appeals, and the workmen's compensation commissioners are to be known as judges of the workmen's compensation court of appeals.
By 1977 the name appears to have changed to Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals.
The Minnesota Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals (WCCA) was created as an independent agency of the executive branch of state government by Chapter 175A of the Minnesota Statutes. The court consists of five judges appointed to six-year terms by the Governor and confirmed by the state Senate. The Governor designates one of the five as the Chief Judge. The Chief Judge is responsible for the administration of the court.
The WCCA has exclusive, statewide authority to review workers' compensation cases decided by compensation judges at the Office of Administrative Hearings and certain cases decided by the Workers' Compensation Division at the Department of Labor and Industry. A panel of three or five judges decides each appeal. A written decision must be issued within 90 days after a case has been assigned to a panel. The judges review the evidentiary record created at the initial hearing, preside over oral arguments, conduct legal research, decide the legal and factual issues appealed by the parties, and issue written orders, decisions and memoranda. Decisions are written to inform the parties and the public of the bases for the court's decisions and to create a body of law interpreting and applying Minnesota workers' compensation laws. Decisions of the WCCA are appealable directly to the Minnesota Supreme Court.