What Injuries Are Covered by Workers Compensation?
In Massachusetts any injury that occurs during the course and scope of your work is covered. You are eligible if the injury occurred at your employer’s premises. You may also be eligible if for workers comp if you were performing a job-related task elsewhere when you sustained injuries.
Some work injuries may be deemed as not severe enough to warrant a compensation claim. Small cuts and wounds are some of the injuries that may not be serious enough for compensation. In other words, if the injury can be treated through first aid it is usually deemed not serious enough.
How do I File Workers Compensation?
You can file a workers compensation claim in Massachusetts if you lost five days of wages due to injuries you sustained at work. You need to notify your employer of your injury within seven days after the fifth day of your lost wages. You can either notify your employer orally or in written form. Your employer is required to notify your insurance company thereafter. You should receive your first check 180 days after you sustained your injury.
What Benefits Can I Receive?
From the time the insurance company receives the notification from your employer, they’ll take time to determine if you are eligible for compensation. If your application is successful there are a number of benefits you could get.
- Medical Benefits: This compensates the employee for the medical expenses incurred and covers treatment and rehabilitation.
- Loss of Function and Disfigurement: This is a onetime payment that covers loss of function or disfigurement. The insurance company takes nine months before they can pay this benefit to monitor progress in order to ensure the benefits are warranted.
- Temporary Total Incapacity: You’ll receive 60% of your average weekly earnings.
- Permanent Total Incapacity: If you are incapable of working as a result of your illness you’ll receive two thirds of your average weekly earnings.
- Survivor Benefits: If the employee dies as a result of his injuries, the dependents may be entitled to 66% of his weekly wages.
Are Mental Conditions Covered?
In Massachusetts mental conditions and emotional disabilities may be eligible for a workers compensation benefits. It may, however, be difficult to get benefits if you cannot show that your mental health problem started at your workplace or your workplace was a contributing factor.
Firefighters, paramedics, and policemen usually work in difficult and dangerous conditions that can have a significant impact on their mental health. An injury resulting from a fire or a gunshot may also cause emotional and psychological distress enough for the employee to develop a psychological issue. The compensation should cover physical injuries sustained, cost of therapy, and vocational rehabilitation where applicable.
What Can I Do If My Application is Denied?
You can appeal a workers compensation denial four years after you receive Notification of Denial from the insurance provider. You’ll have to go through several informal stages before the matter is brought to the review board. The first stage is conciliation which is a meeting between you and your employer or insurance provider. If the parties fail to come to an agreement the case will be pushed forward to the other stages which are conference, hearing and review board.
For more information on workers compensation laws in Massachusetts, Call 978-275-1919 or visit Massachusetts Workers Compensation Laws.