Workers compensation is a system of laws meant to protect injured and disabled workers. The goal is to make sure someone injured at their workplace gets adequate medical care, lost wages relating to the on-the-job injury, and, if necessary, and any retraining necessary to restore them to the workforce.
When a worker is killed on the job, members of the workers' families are typically eligible for workers compensation benefits. Injured workers may want to consult an attorney for advice in protecting their benefits and defending against any attempt to prematurely terminate their benefits.
Workers compensation is compulsory in Massachusetts-employers must provide workers compensation insurance for their employees. The insurance may be provided through a private insurance carrier, or employers may self-insure. Waivers are not permitted.
Only domestic workers who work less than16 hours a week are exempt.
Employees are allowed to make the initial choice of physician and full benefits are provided with no time or monetary limits.
In the state of Massachusetts, temporary total disability payments are a percentage of the worker's wage and may continue for the up to 156 weeks.
Permanent total disability payments are calculated as a percentage of the worker's wage and typically continue for the duration of the disability. Benefits are offset by Social Security benefit.
Permanent partial disability benefits are allotted based on a percentage of the worker's wage and typically continue for up to 260 weeks, but may continue for up to 520 weeks. These benefits are offset by unemployment insurance and Social Security benefits.
Court awards are paid in addition to benefits and are not reduced because of receipt of l disability benefits.
An employee's surviving spouse, or spouse and children may collect death benefits, based upon a percentage of the employee's wages and subject to a cap. A minimum benefit is provided regardless of the employee's earnings. A burial allowance is also available.
Massachusetts workers compensation laws stipulate that attorney fees for claimants are limited to twice the state average weekly wage. Otherwise, claimaints' attorney fees are set by the agency depending upon the manner in which the case is resolved. In certain cases, the attorney fee may be added to the award.