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Workers’ Compensation FAQ

Questions, Answers & Unbeatable Legal Support

At Morgan & Murphy, LLP, our workers’ compensation attorneys believe that every worker, employee, and independent contractor deserves to have as much knowledge about workers’ comp as possible. You can’t always depend on an employer or insurer to give you this information, though. That’s why we have compiled a helpful list of some of the most frequently asked questions about workers’ compensation in Massachusetts. Please give it a review and, if you need legal help afterward, contact us online or call (508) 966-7254.

What is workers' compensation?

Workers’ compensation is an insurance-based program designed to give injured workers medical care and possibly wage replacement benefits after a work-related accident. Workers can be partially or fully liable for their injuries and still get workers’ compensation benefits. The catch is that they cannot get workers’ comp and sue their employer for negligence.

Who qualifies for workers' comp?

All employers must purchase a workers’ compensation that covers all of their employees, including full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees. Even a company with just one employee must have workers’ comp. Independent contractors, as well as domestic employees – i.e., babysitters, gardeners, house cleaners, etc. – who work less than 16 hours a week, do not qualify for workers’ compensation in Massachusetts, though.

When should I report my injury?

You should tell your boss immediately after being hurt at work. In Massachusetts, your employer only has seven (7) days to report the work injury to their insurer. If you wait longer than seven days, then you will be risking the validity of your own claim.

How do you get paid with workers’ comp?

Not all workers’ compensation claims include wage replacement. For minor injuries, it is common for the claimant to get medical attention and return to work the next day. If you do qualify for wage replacement benefits, then you can expect to see payments equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wages paid to you every other week.

How long can you be on workers' compensation?

For most workers’ compensation claimants who have suffered a serious injury, the duration of workers’ comp benefits is up to three years. The duration can be extended to five years if you cannot return to your job due to your injuries and must seek employment in a position that either pays less or offers fewer hours than compared to your pre-injury job.

What if my employer isn't insured?

If you were hurt at work and your employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage for you, and they legally should, then your case will become complicated. You can file with the Massachusetts Trust Fund (MTF) for workers’ compensation benefits. The MTF will sue your employer for anything it has to pay you. Also, if your employer’s negligence contributed to your accident, then you can sue them for any damages not paid through the MTF.

What happens if my claim is denied?

After filing a workers’ compensation claim, you might be surprised to receive a “Form 104 – Insurer’s Notification Of Denial.” This form is an official denial of your workers’ compensation benefits, but it is not the end of your case. You can talk to an attorney about requesting more information about the denial or appealing it to a review board. If that fails, then a lawsuit can follow and take the matter to court.

Can I see my own doctor?

Massachusetts allows you to see your chosen doctor after a work injury. You can pick your primary care physician or a doctor in a preselected list from the insurance company. In an emergency and if you are unresponsive, you will be taken to the nearest in-network emergency room, though.

What if I am self-employed or an independent contractor, am I still eligible for workers' compensation?

People who are self-employed and independent contractors can purchase workers’ compensation policies from insurance companies. If you have such a policy, then you can file for workers’ comp benefits after an accident or injury. Otherwise, you might not have any chances of getting those benefits.

What types of benefits do I get under workers' compensation?

The key benefit of workers’ compensation is coverage for all necessary medical treatments. Certain claimants can receive wage replacement benefits equal to two-thirds of their average weekly wages. Others can get coverage to pay for or provide retraining if they cannot return to the same job they had before.

Are workers' comp benefits taxable?

Workers’ compensation benefits are usually not taxable and do not need to be reported on your tax return. The taxes related to your workers’ comp are handled by your employer and the insurer, so you should be unaffected by them. However, if you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits and separate disability benefits, then there could be additional tax complications.

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