What Is Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation?
Many injured workers in Massachusetts may have heard of, but are not exactly clear, as to what workers’ compensation actually is. As a Boston workers comp lawyer, many of my clients injured on the job don’t know what they are entitled to, or what the process is that awaits them. They often ask me “What is Massachusetts workers compensation?” If you were injured on the job in Massachusetts, here is some information you should know about:
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation rights and benefits for injured workers in Massachusetts is found at M.G.L. c.152. If you were hurt at work, you cannot sue for pain and suffering, but you can collect workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits act as wage replacement and a source of payment for medical bills when a worker is disabled from working.
If the injured worker has a note from a doctor disabling him from working due to a work accident he can collect either total disability benefits, or partial disability benefits from his employer’s workers’ comp insurance company.
Total disability benefits pay 60% of gross average weekly wage. Average weekly wages are based on the gross wages received for 52 weeks prior to the accident.
Partial disability benefits pay 75% of the total disability benefit rate.
For any medical bills that are necessary, reasonable and related to the work accident, they can be submitted to the workers’ compensation insurance company for payment.
For any medical bills submitted to the insurance company for payment, they must be submitted for utilization review. If a bill is denied twice by utilization review, then a claim can be filed at the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents.
The Workers’ Comp Court Process
For any disputes between injured workers and insurance companies regarding entitlement to benefits, the only forum that hears such disputes is the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. This is a court dedicated exclusively to workers’ compensation disputes. These court disputes are officially triggered when an injured worker filing a claim for being denied benefits, or a medical bill he needs paid that has been denied for payment. Or the insurance company may file a claim believing it should be allowed to reduce, or stop paying entirely, benefits to an injured worker.
The four parts of the court dispute process at the Department of Industrial Accidents are:
A Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer For You
If you have been injured at work and have questions about your rights, contact Attorney Christopher Earley today for your free consultation.