Workers' Compensation Payments in MassachusettsThis is a common question we hear often from workers after being injured on the job in Massachusetts. After suffering a serious injury at work, workers are understandably concerned about their health and financial future. Our Framingham workers’ compensation lawyers have helped many injured workers in Massachusetts and know that this is almost always a very stressful situation.

Just because you were hurt at work and are unable to earn your pay doesn’t mean your household bills will stop. Also, medical treatment these days is extremely expensive. If your work accident leaves you unable to return to work, you are probably concerned about how you are going to support yourself, your family, and get necessary medical treatment. Let’s look at what happens after a work accident and when you should expect to receive workers’ compensation.

The Steps and Reporting Periods after a Massachusetts Work Accident

In Massachusetts a few things need to happen before you begin to receive payments of weekly disability benefits after a work injury. It’s important for workers to have a good understanding of the steps and requirements of everyone involved after a workplace accident so you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself.

First, You Must Be Unable to Work for a Certain Period of Time

After being hurt at work, you must be incapable of earning full wages due to your injuries for five (5) or more full or partial calendar days. Keep in mind, the days of loss do not have to be consecutive.

Next, Employers are Required to Report Your Work Accident and Injury

Following your fifth full or partial day you have been unable to work because of your work-related injury, your employer then has seven (7) days, not including Sundays and legal holidays, to report the injury to its workers’ compensation insurance company and the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. This report by your employer is done by filing an Employer’s First Report of Injury (Form 101). This report is also supposed to be provided to the injured worker.

The Workers’ Compensation Insurer’s Investigation and Decision

After your employer has reported your injury, then their workers’ compensation insurer has fourteen (14) calendar days after receiving the Employer’s First Report of Injury to perform their due diligence and investigate the accident, injury, and claim.

During this time period, the insurer will make a decision to either begin paying you weekly workers’ compensation disability benefits and medical benefits to cover the costs and expenses of your medical treatment. Or, they may decide to deny your claim.  

The Insurer Can Decide to Voluntarily Pay You Benefits

If they decide to pay weekly disability benefits, the insurer will send you an Insurer’s Notification of Payment (Form 103) and you should begin receiving weekly checks from workers’ comp within a few weeks after your work-related accident and injury.

Keep in mind, they usually pay benefits for the first 180 days from the initial work injury without accepting liability. This payment period is referred to as the “Pay Without Prejudice” period. It is crucial that injured workers understand the importance of this Pay Without Prejudice period because during this 180-day period, the insurer can either stop or modify your payments unilaterally (without the DIA’s approval) by sending you and the DIA notice of either its termination or modification of benefits. The notice is sent using a form entitled Insurer’s Notification of Termination or Modification of Weekly (Form 106).

The Insurer Can Also Decide to Deny Your Claim

If the insurance company decides to deny your claim, they will send you an Insurer’s Notification of Denial (Form 104). If this happens, don’t stress. You do have legal rights to pursue compensation when an insurer denies your claim. Click here to find out what you can do. Be aware, however, when this happens, it is essential that you act quickly because, unfortunately, it does take time to file a claim to seek weekly disability benefits. This means you may be without pay for a while.

If you find yourself in this situation it is highly recommended that you consult an experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney. A qualified lawyer will be able to explain your legal rights, the workers’ compensation claim process in Massachusetts, and answer all of your questions.  Most importantly, an experienced and diligent attorney will be able to take immediate legal action to seek the compensation you deserve.  

What if You Never Hear from the Workers’ Compensation Insuer After a Work Accident?

Sometimes after a worker is injured on the job, their employer never reports the injury, and the worker never hears from an insurance company. When this happens, you still have a right to take legal action to seek compensation. Unfortunately, under these circumstances, you typically cannot file a claim for at least 30 days. Again, if you find yourself in this situation, feel free to contact our Framingham workers’ compensation lawyers. Our attorneys handle workers’ compensation claims throughout Massachusetts and are here to help.

Charles S. Pappas
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Massachusetts injury lawyer & workers' compensation attorney serving accident victims in Webster & Framingham.
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