In many Massachusetts workers’ compensation cases an injured worker may be out of work due to his or her injury, collected workers’ compensation benefits, but returned to work at some point only to go back out due to the same injury. What happens then? Well, the answer depends.
Liability Accepted or Established
In one scenario, where liability is either accepted by the workers’ compensation insurer or found and ordered by a judge, if the injured worker returned to work for less than 28 calendar days, and then must leave work again due to the same injury, the workers' compensation insurance company must resume payment of workers’ compensation benefits to the injured worker. The injured worker (or his or her workers’ compensation attorney) must report that he or she had to leave work because of the work injury in writing within 21 calendar days of going back out of work. The workers’ compensation insurance company must then resume making payments of benefits within two weeks of receiving the written notice of renewed disability.
Liability Not Accepted or Established
In the other situation, where a worker was hurt on the job, received voluntary payments of workers’ compensation benefits, goes back to work only to leave work again due to the same injury the result is a bit different. If the insurer hasn’t accepted liability or liability has not been found and ordered by a judge, there is no legal requirement for the workers’ compensation insurer to resume any voluntary payments of benefits. The insurance company can voluntarily pay benefits to the injured worker or may refuse to resume payments. If the insurance company refuses to resume voluntary payments of benefits, the injured worker can file an Employee Claim for Benefits with the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. This is how an injured worker would take legal action to compel the insurance company to make payments of benefits.
Speak with an Experienced Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Mahaney & Pappas, LLP specialize in helping injured workers in Massachusetts get the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. If you are not getting the benefits you deserve, feel free to call us at (508) 879-3500 or contact us online to schedule a free case review. At the complimentary meeting, we will evaluate your work accident, answer your questions and explain the workers’ compensation process.