Expenses Covered by Workers’ Compensation
Massachusetts law requires employers to carry worker’s compensation insurance in anticipation of employee injuries on the job. If you are a victim of a workplace injury, your worker’s comp benefits should help alleviate some of your financial stress during an incredibly difficult time.
Income loss and disability
After a work-related illness or injury, you may need extensive time to heal and recover, which means you may be out of work for a while. For injured workers in Massachusetts, who are totally or partially unable to perform any gainful employment due to the injury, there are three types of wage loss payments:
- Temporary Total Disability: replaces a percentage of lost income when you cannot work for a period of time
- Temporary Partial Disability: replaces a percentage of decreased income when you can perform some work but not earn as much as you were earning prior to the injury.
- Permanent and Total Disability: replaces a slightly larger percentage of lost income when you cannot perform any gainful employment and it looks like your condition will not improve in the foreseeable future or is deemed permanent. There is also a possible Cost of Living Adjustment payable with this benefit.
For the percentages each benefit pays and the time frames each will pay please see my website or contact me to discuss them.
Additionally, if you are never able to perform your previous job duties again, you can ask the Department of Industrial Accidents for vocational rehabilitation services such as job search assistance, resume writing and possibly retraining. If approved, these services would be paid for by the insurer or the DIA.
Medical Bills and Continuing Care Costs
The insurer is responsible for paying all reasonable, necessary and related treatment costs pertaining to your workplace injury. There is no cap on workers’ comp medical care benefits. You do not have to pay out-of-pocket for your current or future care. The insurer is requires to pay for treatment at a rate set by the state. Unfortunately, these rates are very low and many doctors will not accept the rates. Insurers will often pay a higher rate negotiated with the doctor. As an injured worker you should know that this process can delay treatment and the insurer cannot be forced to pay a higher rate.
Spouses and some financially dependent family members of a person killed in a workplace incident may qualify for death benefits including burial expenses, and lost income benefits. Who is entitled to these benefits and how long they can be paid is a complex part of the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Law. Consulting an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer is important to understand your rights and entitlements.
In addition to the above, there are other benefits you may be entitled to.
- Mileage reimbursement to medical appointments and IME exams. The rate is set by the DIA.
- Reimbursement for transportation cost to get to medical appointments if you do not have a car.
- Permanent loss of function of a body part. The DIA has formulas for the calculation of this benefit.
- Scarring and disfigurement benefits depending on the type and what part of your body is affected. Again, the DIA has charts and formulas for the calculation of these benefits.
As every case may differ some, call me to schedule a free consultation to confirm that you are getting all of the benefits that you are entitled to.