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Massachusetts Workers' Compensation

Massachusetts Workers' Compensation

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Massachusetts workers' compensation programs provide no-fault insurance for lost wages, medical costs and death benefits for Massachusetts workers who are injured or killed while working and performing their normal job requirements. Workers' compensation death benefits may also be provided to certain surviving beneficiaries if a worker dies.

Workers' compensation was created to avoid personal injury lawsuits. Workers no longer have to file personal injury claims and sue their employer to prove the employer's negligence led to their work injury. Instead, workers' compensation provides immediate medical benefits and lost wage compensation to the employee, and in most cases, the employee forfeits their right to sue their employer to receive more compensation.

Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Act was enacted in 1911. The Division of Industrial Accidents (DIA) administers the compensation system from Boston, Fall River, Lawrence, Springfield and Worcester. A commissioner, 21 trial judges and six appeals judges are appointed by the Governor of the state of Massachusetts. The DIA ensures that companies follow workers compensation laws and injured employees receive the benefits they deserve after a Massachusetts' workplace injury.

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Hiring a Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer

Approximately 50% of workers' compensation claims are not disputed in Massachusetts. If your work comp claim is disputed it is recommended that you seek legal advice for your Massachusetts workman's compensation claim by hiring a work comp attorney.

Work comp lawyers can review your case and make sure your interests are protected. If you have a serious or permanent work injury, or if you have been discriminated or fired for your injuries talk to a lawyer.

Massachusetts work comp laws can be complicated and will vary from other state's laws. Your employer or the insurance company may be more concerned with closing the work comp case and less concerned with ensuring you get the medical benefits needed to help you recover from your work injuries. If you choose not to hire a lawyer you may file a claim and present your own case before the DIA.

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Work Injuries Covered Under Massachusetts Workers' Compensation

Massachusetts workman's compensation insurance provides benefits for most Massachusetts workers who are injured on the job. Currently most Massachusetts private sector employers are required to buy workers' compensation or qualify as self-insurers. Coverage is elective for some workers such as seasonal, casual workers or part-time domestic workers. Some municipalities such as such as Hopedale and Tewksbury have not accepted the Workers' Compensation act and others such as Lawrence, Newton, Brookline, Brockton, and Beverly do not cover certain professions such as teachers or other white-collar employees.

If you are in a city or municipality which does provide workers' compensation you may be ineligible to receive benefits if you are injured while performing certain actions which are intentionally harmful to yourself or another employee. Injuries you obtained while engaged in a social or recreational activity at the work place which was not "job-related" may also not be covered by workers' compensation.

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Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Benefits

Massachusetts workers' compensation provides benefits similar to other states, but the terminology differs. Massachusetts workers' compensation provides medical benefits, death benefits and wage loss compensation.

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Reporting an Injury and Collecting Benefits in Massachusetts

If you have suffered a work injury and you will be absent from work for five days your employer must file an Employer's First Report of Injury or Fatality (Form 101). A copy should be sent to the DIA and to the employer's Workers' Compensation insurance company.

Form 101 should be filed within 7 days from the fifth day of missed work. The insurance company is given 14 days to investigate the work comp claim and make a determination for payment. If your employer fails to notify the insurer within 30 days you have the right to notify the insurance company on your own by completing Form 101. You can access, fill out, and print the form in the Forms and Publications section at www.mass.gov/dia


When Work Comp Benefits May Be Stopped or Reduced

Workers may lose their workers' compensation benefits under some conditions including:

  1. The workers' benefits may be terminated by a Reviewing Board, court, arbitrator or Administrative Judge.
  2. The workers' benefits may be terminated if they return to work. Benefits can be re-activated if the worker stops working due to the same injury within 28 days.
  3. The worker is given a medical report by their treating doctor or impartial medical doctor stating they are capable of returning to employment.
  4. The worker refuses to participate in vocational rehabilitation services.
  5. The worker refuses to get medical care or go to a required medical evaluation.
  6. The worker is imprisoned for a felony or misdemeanor conviction.
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Contact a DIA Regional Office for more information
If you have questions regarding your workers' compensation benefits you can call the DIA regional offices. If you live in the state of Massachusetts you can call 1-800-323-3249, ext. 470. From outside Massachusetts, you can call 617-727-4900, ext. 470. You can also visit www.mass.gov/dia

DIA Regional Offices

Boston
1 Congress Street, Suite 100
Boston, MA 02114-2017
(617) 727-4900, (800) 323-3249

Fall River
1 Father DeValles Boulevard, 3rd Floor
Fall River, MA 02723
(508) 676-3406

Lawrence
354 Merrimack Street
Bld. 1, Suite # 230
Lawrence, MA 01843
(978) 683-6420

Springfield
436 Dwight Street
Springfield, MA 01103
(413) 784-1133

Worcester
340 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608
(508) 753-2072

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