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The Basics of Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Laws

If you are injured while on the job in Massachusetts, you may be entitled to certain benefits under Massachusetts workers' compensation laws. Under these laws, all employers must have Massachusetts workers' compensation insurance. This insurance is what pays out benefits to injured employees.

After being injured in a workplace accident, you should do all you can to understand the basics of Massachusetts workers' compensation laws. In addition, you may want to reach out to a workers' compensation attorney to help you with the workers' compensation claim process.

Benefits Under Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Laws

The benefits available to injured workers under Massachusetts workers' compensation laws range from full coverage for all medical costs related to the worker's injuries to financial assistance in the event that the worker is permanently or temporarily disabled due to his or her injuries.

The amount of money paid to an employee who is disabled depends upon the extent of that worker's disability. For example, if a worker is totally and permanently disabled, meaning he or she will no longer be able to return to work at all, the injured worker will receive more money than if the disability is classified as temporarily disabled, meaning the employee will eventually be able to return to work after treatment.

Under Massachusetts workers' compensation laws, the following are the benefit amounts a disabled worker is entitled to:

  • Total and permanent incapacity: Two-thirds of the worker's average weekly wage
  • Total incapacity: 60 percent of the worker's average weekly wage, up to 156 weeks
  • Partial incapacity: 60 percent of the difference between the worker's weekly wage before the injury and after the injury

In addition, an employee must wait five days after his or her injury to receive disability payments. However, if disability persists for 21 days or more, the worker is entitled to collect back pay for this waiting period.

Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Claims

The first thing you should do after suffering a workplace injury is seek immediate medical attention. You will also want to inform your employer, preferably in writing, of your injury. This is how you start the workers' compensation claim process.

You have up to four years after you become aware of the connection between your disability and your employment to file a claim with your employer's Massachusetts workers' compensation insurance carrier. The insurance carrier will then process your claim and make a determination of whether to accept or deny benefits. Your employer is required by law to display the name and contact information of its workers' compensation insurance carrier.

If the insurance company accepts your claim, you should receive your first disability check within 14 days after the insurance company receives a report of your injuries. If the carrier denies your claim, you may request a hearing from the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents.

If you do end up scheduling a hearing, you will want to hire a knowledgeable Massachusetts workers' compensation lawyer to represent you.

Massachusetts Workers' Comp Resources

If you have further questions about Massachusetts workers' compensation laws, including questions regarding the claims process or benefit amounts, you should contact the state's Department of Industrial Accidents.

If you would like more information about workplace safety procedures, reach out to your local Massachusetts OSHA office. OSHA (or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is the governmental body in charge of overseeing workplace safety guidelines.

Finally, if you have questions regarding a specific claim, you should contact a Massachusetts workers' comp attorney near you.