Understanding Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Massachusetts
According to recent studies conducted by the nation’s Social Security Administration, a 20-year-old worker in Massachusetts and across the nation has approximately a three in 10 chance of suffering from a disabling injury before retiring. Although most hurt employees will only endure a temporary disability and ultimately return to full-time work, others will not. For permanently disabled individuals, state workers’ compensation programs, Social Security disability benefits, and private disability insurance often become lifelines.
All employers in Massachusetts are required to provide employees with workers’ compensation coverage, no matter how many hours per week a worker is employed. Despite this, certain exceptions exist. For example, public servants, corporate officers, and federal employees are exempt from this requirement. In general, a hurt worker is required to file his or her workers’ compensation disability claim in the state where the job duties are performed. An employer’s corporate office or base of operations is irrelevant for such claims. In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, an injured employee must have been hurt during the course of his or her job duties, while on company property, or while participating in a work-related trip or other event.
What constitutes a disability can vary by state. Normally, the term “disabled” means an injured employee is unable to earn his or her full-time wages for a temporary time period or permanently. Typically, a Massachusetts employee who suffered a work-related injury that prevents the individual from returning to work for more than five days is eligible to recover financial compensation for his or her medical bills and temporary or permanent disability. By law, employees in the Commonwealth have four years during which to file a workers’ compensation claim. After a worker files an injury claim, an employer has 14 days to reject or approve the claim. When a workers’ compensation claim is disputed, the case is subject to review by an administrative law judge.
Although some injuries are readily apparent and easy to document, others such as soft tissue harm and diseases that were caused by work-related exposure to chemicals may be more difficult to demonstrate. Similarly, psychological conditions that were caused or exacerbated by a workplace injury are often tough to prove and must be well documented. When a worker suffers such an injury, it is a good idea to retain a workers’ compensation attorney.
If you were injured at work in Boston, you are advised to contact a knowledgeable Suffolk County workers’ compensation lawyer who can help you protect your right to receive disability and other benefits. The hardworking attorneys at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C. are available to help you recover the compensation you deserve based on the seriousness of your workplace accident harm. To discuss your rights with a seasoned advocate, contact Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C. through our website or call us today at 800-367-0871.
How Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Work?, by Richard Rosen, Investopedia.com