Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Laws
UPDATED: February 19, 2011
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Massachusetts workers' compensation laws govern the conditions under which employees receive benefits for their workplace injuries and illnesses, as well as the extent of those workers' compensation benefits.
Claims under Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Laws
When accidents occur at work and employees are injured as a result, the injured employee may be able to recover benefits under the Massachusetts workers' compensation system. Such accidents may include a worker slipping or tripping at the worksite. Be aware, however, that if the worker is using drugs or alcohol at the time of his injury, he may forfeit his right to receive workers' compensation benefits in Massachusetts.
Occupational diseases, or those diseases that result from long exposure to dangerous conditions at work, as well as repetitive motions performed at work, may be covered by Massachusetts workers' compensation law.
Finally, if a worker dies from an occupational illness or injuries sustained in a workplace accident, his relatives may receive death benefits to compensate for their loss.
Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Benefits
Workers who become ill or injured because of accidents at the worksite or because of detrimental workplace conditions may be provided with the following workers' compensation benefits:
Treatment of Injury/Illness: Medical treatment for an employee's workplace injury or occupational illness, including hospital and physician's bills, will be paid to the medical provider by the employer's workers' compensation insurance provider.
Mileage Reimbursement: When it is necessary for a worker to travel a distance to get his work-related injury or illness treated, the time he spends traveling and the cost of the travel may be reimbursed by his employer's insurer.
Death and Funeral: Benefits are available to compensate the relatives of workers who die because of their employment-connected injuries or occupational diseases. The amount of death benefits varies based on the circumstances. Additionally, burial costs may be paid to the deceased worker's dependents.
Lost Wage Benefits: Benefits to recover lost wages are a part of many Massachusetts workers' compensation claims. Lost wage benefits generally fall into one of four categories depending on the worker's situation:
1) Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD): A worker is incapable of working while he recovers from his injury. 60% of his pre-injury average weekly salary will be paid to him each week while he recovers.
2) Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD): When an employee could do some work while he recovers from his injury, but his injury prevents him temporarily from returning to his prior occupation at full salary and full-time. In this situation, the worker will be paid a certain percentage of his former salary.
3) Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD): An employee can no longer work because of his injury or illness. He will receive 2/3 of his pre-injury average weekly wage.
4) Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD): If an employee's injury/disease reaches maximum improvement but he still suffers the effects of the condition and cannot return to his old occupation. The worker will get 60% of the difference between his pre- and post-injury average weekly wage.
Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Statutes
Refer to the Massachusetts General Laws for specific relevant workers' compensation statutes.
Employers Subject To Workers' Compensation: Workers' Compensation, Title 21, Chp.152 §1; Covered Employees: Workers' Compensation, Title 21, Chp.152 §1; Benefits: Workers' Compensation, Title 21, Chp.152 §§ 30-35E; Claims Procedure: Workers' Compensation, Title 21, Chp.152 § 6.