September 11, 2018

Hurt on the job?

Employees who are injured at work or during the course of employment, including work-related mental or emotional disabilities, are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Massachusetts. These benefits can include hospital services, medically necessary equipment and prescribed medications, weekly compensation for lost income during the period of injury, and rehabilitation services.

If you have a work related injury or illness that results in lost work time of at least five full days, it is the responsibility of the employer to file the Employer’s First Report of Injury or Fatality (Form 101). If your employer does not send Form 101 to the insurer within 30 days of your injury, report the incident to the insurance company yourself. This information should be readily accessible, as every employer is required to display a poster in the workplace with the name and address of its Workers’ Compensation insurer and policy information.

If the insurer agrees to pay the claim, you should receive an Insurer’s Notification of Payment (Form 103). Checks should be delivered within three to four weeks after the work-related injury or illness, providing compensation for lost wages for any days you are disabled after the first five calendar days. However, the first 180 days after the initial injury are considered a “Pay-Without-Prejudice” period, meaning the insurer may pay benefits without making a final decision on your case. This does not mean that they have accepted liability, and it is possible that the insurer may stop or reduce your payments with seven days written notice with Form 106.

If for any reason, the workers’ compensation insurance company denies your claim, you can file an appeal with the Department of Industrial Accidents. The insurer must send an Insurer’s Notification of Denial (Form 104) including the reasons for denial. If your claim is disputed, it is strongly advised to seek legal counsel to guarantee that your rights and interests are being protected.

If you have any questions or need representation for issues surrounding workers’ compensation, please call the Boston Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service at 617- 742- 0625 or connect with an area attorney online. Most of our attorneys handle workers’ compensation claims on a contingency basis, so typically you only pay if the case is won.