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Incapacity and workers compensation

Workers compensation is a form of insurance that covers employees for job related injuries and illnesses. The specifics of a worker compensation plan are determined by the state and each state has a different spin on workers compensation. In Massachusetts workers compensation is governed by the Department of Industrial Accidents. There are several types of compensation and benefits available through workers compensation plan. One of the most commonly applied types of benefits is incapacity benefits. Incapacity benefits can be broken down into three categories; temporary total, partial, and permanent and total incapacity benefits.

Temporary total incapacity benefits last up to 156 weeks and covers up to 60 percent of one's gross average weekly wage. In order to qualify for the benefits one must have an injury or illness that makes them unable to work for at least 6 full or partial days. While compensation does not begin until 6 days of work or missed the days do not have to be consecutive.

Partial incapacity benefits are figured using a percent of the weekly amount one would have received under temporary total incapacity benefits. The benefits for these types of injuries are lower because although one has lost part of their earning capacity they are still able to work and while the amount is less one can receive the benefits for up to 260 weeks.

The type of benefit that last the longest is reserved for the worse type of work related injuries and illnesses. Individuals who are no longer able to work because of a work related injury or illness can qualify for permanent and total incapacity benefits. These benefits will last as long as the individual is disabled. Although the benefits pay only two-thirds of one's average weekly salary or at least 20 percent of the state average weekly wage it includes adjustments for cost-of living.

Source: Mass.gov, Labor and Workforce: Workers Compensation, accessed on September 26, 2014

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