If you have been injured on the job in Massachusetts, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. What type of benefits you are entitled to, how long you will receive the benefits, and how much you will receive will depend on a number of factors.
Each state administers its own workers’ compensation system. In Massachusetts, the workers’ compensation system is administered by the Department of Industrial Accidents, or DIA. Once you have been injured on the job, a claim will be filed with the DIA and a determination will be made whether you are entitled to benefits and, if so, which type and how much you will receive.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can give you specific advice about what benefits you may be eligible to receive. The following guide provides a general overview of the type of benefits available through the DIA workers’ compensation program.
As an injured employee, if you are found to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, your medical expenses that are a direct result of your covered injury will be paid by the workers’ compensation program. There may be specific rules regarding what is covered and what doctors you may see, but your medical expenses will be covered.
Wage Replacement–Temporary Total or Partial Incapacity
You may be entitled to total incapacity or partial incapacity benefits. Wage replacement benefits kick in after you have been unable to work for five calendar days for total incapacity benefits. Total incapacity benefits are available if you are unable to work at all as a result of your injury. You will receive weekly benefits based on a percentage of what you were earning before the injury. Partial incapacity benefits are available if you are still able to work, but are earning less, or are able to work fewer hours, as a result of your injury.
Permanent Total Incapacity
If your injury leaves you permanently incapacitated, or unable to work, you may be entitled to receive benefits for as long as your disability lasts. Just as with your temporary incapacity benefits, you will not receive the same amount as you earned when working. Your permanent total incapacity benefits will also be based on a formula that computes a percentage of what you earned prior to the injury.
Permanent Loss of Function and Disfigurement Benefits
If your work-related injury has left you permanently disfigured, or results in the loss of function, then you may be entitled to a one time lump sum payment. The loss of function as well as the disfigurement is limited to specific body parts.
Survivors’ and Dependents’ Benefits
If you are the spouse or child of someone who has been killed as the result of a work related injury, you may be entitled to receive benefits as well. As with the other benefit types, the amount you receive will be based on a percentage of the average wages earned by the injured worker prior to the accident. You may also be entitled to receive a one-time burial expenses payment.
As you can see, the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system offers numerous types of benefits to a worker, or the family or a worker, who has been injured on the job. You may also have realized that there are a number of factors that go into deciding whether a worker qualifies for those benefits and how much he or she will receive. In order to ensure that you receive the maximum benefits to which you are entitled, be sure to consult with a Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney before you file your claim.