Knowing how to file a workers’ compensation claim in Massachusetts will keep you from missing out on your benefits. Learn all about the claim process and more.
Workers in the United States are no strangers to workplace accidents. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, work-related accidents claimed 4,764 lives in the United States in 2020. Between 2016 and 2017, 220 Massachusetts workers died in workplace accidents.
Massachusetts employees who survive a work-related injury or work-related illness are entitled to compensation benefits. So are the relatives of an injured worker who dies. This is what the Massachusetts workers’ compensation law stipulates. However, just because the law mandates employers to pay benefits doesn’t mean they will.
In such a situation, the injured employee asks how to file a workers’ compensation claim. Our workers’ compensation attorneys discuss how you can go about this and more. Contact Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers for legal representation if your employer breaches your compensation rights.
Is Workers’ Comp Required in Massachusetts?
Every worker with a workplace injury deserves proper compensation. As a result, Massachusetts law makes it compulsory for employers to buy workers’ compensation insurance. The compensation policy extends to employers if they are employees of their company. Unlike other states, compensation coverage applies irrespective of the number of employees or the hours worked.
So, even if a business owner has only one staff, they must buy a policy. The compensation program also applies to domestic employees working 16 hours a week. Despite this general provision, there are some exceptions.
Workers’ comp insurance does not apply to members of a limited liability company, partners of a limited liability partnership, or sole proprietors of an unincorporated business. Furthermore, corporate officers who own at least 25% interest in a corporation can request exemption from workers’ compensation coverage. Lastly, out-of-state employers operating in Massachusetts must provide insurance for all employees in case of an on-the-job injury.
What Injuries Are Covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Work comp covers any workplace injury or work-related illnesses. It means that for you to get comp benefits, your wound or illness must be a result of an accident at work or occupational hazard. If the injury or illness occurred outside your workplace, Massachusetts workers compensation law bars you from getting workers’ compensation benefits.
What Benefits Do Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Work comp coverage offers you two distinct types of benefits. They are:
- Medical Benefits: This compensation payment covers medical care from the injury date until you recover. If the wound requires future medical attention, it includes future treatment. In addition, it covers prescription medications, medical equipment, ambulance costs, and other out-of-pocket medical expenses.
- Lost Wages: Another financial cost of a workplace injury is lost wages. Depending on your injury severity and how long it keeps you from work, you may get paid minimum or hourly wages. Also, the law considers whether you are temporarily or permanently disabled totally or partially and if you’re receiving social security disability benefits.
If the injured worker dies, their relatives get workers’ compensation death benefits. This usually covers burial expenses up to eight times the average weekly wage in the Commonwealth. Weekly benefits equal two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage, up to a maximum amount set by the Commonwealth.
However, work comp does not cover the physical pain and suffering. This compensation is only available in a third-party liability claim where the fault is present. Workers’ comp is a fault-free process. Learn more about this from our compensation lawyers.
How To File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Massachusetts?
Generally, it is your employer’s responsibility to file a workers’ compensation claim after reporting a work-related injury. Massachusetts law mandates your employer to file a notice of your injury with the Department of Industrial Accidents. After that, they will file another notice with their work comp insurance company.
They do this with what is known as Form 101, “Employer’s First Report of Injury or Fatality.” Your employer files this when your injury keeps you off work for five full or partial calendar days or requires you to get medical treatment. Form 101 must be filed within seven calendar days from the fifth day of disability.
Next, the workers’ compensation insurer has 14 days from when it received the employer’s notice to investigate and decide whether to pay the benefits or not. If your employer fails to file a notice of claim, they will face administrative penalties.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Suppose your employer failed to commence the compensation claim process. Or it has been 30 or more calendar days since your injury without getting compensation benefits; what do you do?
If this happens, you have to file the claim for benefits yourself. First, inform your employer’s insurance company of the work injury. Then file a notice with the Department of Industrial Accidents using Form 110, “Employees Claim.” When filling the claim form, you’ll need to provide information on:
- The injury date or death date if filing for death benefits
- The 1st calendar day of work you missed
- The 5th calendar day of the work you missed
- The workers’ compensation insurance carrier
- The body parts and injury type
- The type of benefits you are looking for
- How long you may be away from work if known
- Where you first went for treatment
- Your current treating doctor
In addition, attach:
- Unpaid medical bills
- Medical reports
- Any document that supports how the accident happened
- Witness statements and names
How Long Do I Have to File a Workers’ Comp Claim in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, you have four years from when you first discovered the work-related injury or illness. If you fail to bring your claim within this period, you will get benefits for your injuries. Work with aggressive workers’ compensation attorneys to ensure you file your claim within the stipulated time.
Book a Free Consultation With Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Every injured Massachusetts worker deserves compensation for the injury suffered. But the compensation claim process is often fraught with difficulties, especially where your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier withhold your benefits. Thankfully, you can fight this with the help of experienced workers’ comp attorneys.
At Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers, our legal team has decades of combined experience helping injured Massachusetts employees get their deserved benefits. In addition, we protect your rights and prevent retaliatory termination from your employer. So, if you find yourself at crossroads with your employer or their insurance provider, contact us for legal counsel and representation. We work on a contingency fee basis and offer free initial consultations.