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Important points about workers' compensation in Massachusetts

Workers in Massachusetts who are injured on the job might have a vague notion as to their rights to receive benefits through workers' compensation. However, there are important points that they must understand as they seek to move forward with workers' compensation claims and receive benefits. Those who have an injury from their job or a health issue due to their work should be able to get workers' compensation. Workers' compensation will cover medical costs including prescriptions and copays; lost wages for the time the worker cannot work if it lasts for five days or more; and the cost of travel back and forth to get treatment.

Whether or not they are eligible for workers' compensation is a question in the mind of many workers. Almost all workers in the state are covered regardless of the job, the hours they work, their status at work, and the way they are paid. A person who is a sole proprietor will only be covered if they have bought their own policy. The employer is required to post the name of the company providing workers' compensation benefits at the workplace. When there is an injury or illness, the worker must inform the employer immediately. The employer will then inform the insurance company. The worker will receive a claim number from the insurance company. The doctor must be informed if the issue is related to work and the insurance information must be provided. If there is no claim number, the doctor might have to contact the employer directly.

If the employer does not inform the insurer after the injury has occurred after 30 days or if there was no claim number, the employer can file an employee claim. If workers' compensation denies the claim, there will be a notice sent to the worker. The worker can file a dispute for the decision. Employers might not have workers' compensation insurance, refuse to tell the worker of the insurance company, or discourage the worker from filing a claim. This is against the law.

Workers who are injured or made ill on the job will have a lot to consider. Being treated and getting back to full health should be paramount, but the concerns over whether the medical treatment is covered by insurance and the worker will be paid while unable to work can be worrisome. Then there is also the all-too common problem of an employer refusing to adhere to the law for workers' compensation claims. For any issue related to workers' compensation benefits, it is essential to speak to an experienced attorney.

Source: mass.gov, "Hurt on the Job? Workers' Compensation Can Help," accessed on July 2, 2017

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