Who Can File for Workers’ Compensation in Massachusetts?
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is designed to protect workers who are injured on the job or who contract a job-related illness and to protect employers from being sued by injured workers. Under Massachusetts law, all employers must carry WC insurance, which provides coverage for medical expenses, transportation costs to and from medical appointments, and lost wages. Although workers’ compensation is intended to benefit employees, filing can be a complicated and frustrating process.
Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
Generally, employees are eligible for workers’ compensation if, as a result of a job-related injury or illness, they are unable to work for five or more partial or full workdays. Missed workdays do not have to be consecutive.
The extent of your injury or illness determines the type of benefits available, including the following:
- Medical benefits: If you are able to work but need medical treatment for an injury or illness incurred on the job
- Temporary total incapacity benefits: If you are unable to work for six or more calendar days
- Partial incapacity benefits: If you are able to work part time but have not been medically-cleared to work full time
- Permanent and total incapacity benefits: If you are totally and permanently unable to do work of any kind
- Permanent loss of function and disfigurement benefits: If your injury results in scarring or a permanent loss of certain body functions
While these classifications may seem straightforward, exceptions and special circumstances can significantly complicate matters. Enlisting the help of an attorney can clear up confusion, simplify the filing process, and give you peace of mind.
When to Seek Legal Advice
Consider contacting an attorney if you have any of the following questions:
- Am I Eligible? Eligibly concerns may arise if you are injured while driving a company vehicle, while attending an off-site company event, or if you are unsure about whether or not Massachusetts state law requires workers’ compensation insurance coverage for your profession. Professional athletes, real estate agents, seamen, and taxicab drivers are just a few of the professions not covered under Massachusetts workers’ compensation laws. If you’re unsure if your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, you might want to consult an attorney.
- How Do I File? Filing concerns may arise if you return to work too early and need to resume benefits or if you are injured while working out of state. If you are injured while working out of state, you have the option of filing a claim in the state where the injury occurred, the state where your employment was localized, or the state where you were hired—a confusing choice to make if you are unfamiliar with the legal nuances of the workers’ compensation system.
- How Do I Appeal? While roughly half of all WC claims are accepted without dispute, the other half are disputed, which can lead to a long and confusing appeals process. You might consider filing an appeal if your claim is denied, if you do not receive fair compensation, or if you do not receive compensation in a reasonable amount of time. In each of the above cases, an attorney can streamline the appeals process.
Contact the Law Offices of George A. Malliaros
Filing for workers’ compensation benefits can be frustrating, but you needn’t struggle alone. Contact the Law Offices of George A. Malliaros today at (978) 452-6641 for a free consultation. You can also fill out our convenient online contact form. We are eager to advocate on your behalf!
Our committed staff will help you navigate the muddy waters of the workers’ compensation system. We will work diligently to answer your questions, protect your rights, and ensure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.
Injured workers. (2016). The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Retrieved from http://www.mass.gov/lwd/workers-compensation/injured-workers/
Your guide to the Massachusetts workers compensation system. (2016). The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. Retrieved from http://www.dlc-ma.org/resources/Employment/EMP7_workerscompguide.pdf