Under the Massachusetts law, Chapter 152, worker’s compensation is a required benefit.
Worker’s compensation is intended to provide an adequate means for those who have been injured on the job and their families to collect a weekly wage loss for the following:
- Total and partial disability
- Medical cost
- Vocational re-retraining expenses
- Death benefits
- Funeral costs
- Any other associated cost
In Boston, workers can become eligible for benefits if they are injured or become ill on the job, as a direct result of an accident or incident occurring within the course and scope of employment. The Department of Industrial Accidents is responsible for administering workers’ compensation and is also who will hear disputes if your claim has been denied. The only time the case will be forwarded to the state court system is once the appeal reaches beyond the reviewing board.
Due to the complexity of workers’ compensation law it is strongly advised for workers to seek counsel if their claim has been denied; it is noted that half of all claims are not disputed by an insurer or employer.
Types of Benefits
The types of benefits workers are entitled to heavily depends on the extent of injuries.
Partial Disability Benefits- If you have been injured on the job resulting in limitations on the type or amount of work able to be performed you can qualify for partial disability benefits. These are paid out weekly to those who qualify. Up to 60 percent of wages earned or what was lost can be collected.
Disfigurement or Loss of Function- If you become disfigured, or an injury results in loss of function to the injured body part you can qualify for these benefits. These range from permanent scars on one’s face/neck or the complete loss of function in a specific limb/body part.
Total Disability Benefits- If you are unable to work from an injury you received while on a job you could qualify for these benefits. You may be able to retain 60 percent of your average weekly pay – there is a max amount capped by the state law – you income 52 weeks poor to injury is averaged to come up with an amount.
Total and Permanent Disability Benefits- By law employees who are not able to work for an extended period of time can receive total and permanent disability benefits. These benefits allow workers to receive approximately 60 percent of their weekly pay including an offset for increased living expenses following an injury – paid out for the remainder of the workers life.
Death Benefits- The surviving spouse of child of the worker who has died as a result of a work-related injury can collect these benefits. The recovery amount is 60 percent of average weekly wage. There could be other benefits available under this benefit as well, (i.e. funeral expenses, medical costs, etc) depending on circumstances.It is important for employees to note that not all injury or illness related expenses are covered under worker’s compensation. It depends on the circumstances surrounding the case, mainly in the instances where a worker has suffered a severe injury that in some instances has lead to death.
In the state Massachusetts workers’ compensation law’s exclusive remedy provision, employees covered under workers’ compensation can’t sue their employer. In some cases, if there are other parties that can be held liable besides the employer, the third party may be held accountable. For example, if a worker is injured due to a machine malfunction, the manufacturer of that machine may be pursued in third-party litigation.
One must understand that just because workers are covered for work-related accidents, illnesses and injuries are not always covered under workers compensation. This is why it is critical to hire a workers’ compensation law firm with proven experience to insure your case is being handled properly throughout the process.
The Attorney Injury Group fights aggressively to protect your rights. If you need disability Benefits, the Attorney Injury Group will fight to secure the best possible outcome for you. Call the Attorney Injury Group today at 617-934-7000 for a FREE, confidential consultation. When you call, an experienced Massachusetts lawyer will investigate every detail of your situation at no cost to you.
At the Attorney Injury Group, you will never pay an attorney’s fee up front and we don’t get paid until you do. Call today to learn how we may be able to help.