When Massachusetts workers are injured on the job, they should know that they can seek workers' compensation benefits. However, there might be some confusion as to the benefits they are eligible to receive and how the amount is calculated. There are several levels of benefits, including temporary total incapacity benefits, partial incapacity benefits, and permanent and total incapacity benefits. This post will center on temporary total incapacity benefits under workers' compensation claims.
When a worker becomes injured or ill and cannot work for five or more days in full or in part, they will qualify for temporary total incapacity benefits. Age, training and experience are considered and the time off can be consecutive or not consecutive. All that matters is that the lost time was because of the medical issue that was incurred at work. The worker will get 60 percent of the gross average weekly earnings before taxes and benefits.
To calculate how much the worker will get, the total gross earnings including any extras like overtime and bonuses for the 52 weeks before the medical issue should be totaled. This will then be divided by the number 52 to determine the weekly wage. Those who were employed for less than 52 weeks will divide the total by the number of weeks they did work. This will then be multiplied by .60 (60 percent) to determine the weekly compensation. The worker cannot receive more than the State's Annual Weekly Wage at the time the injury happened.
The worker can receive benefits for as long as three years. The workers' compensation benefits will start on the sixth day the worker was incapacitated. There will be no compensation for the first five days unless the person was disabled for a minimum of 21 days. It is not necessary for them to be consecutive. Understanding the various benefits available is an essential part of workers' compensation. Those who are injured and are unsure of what they are entitled to or are not receiving the benefits they have earned should contact a qualified workers' compensation attorney about the case as soon as possible.
Source: mass.gov, "Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Guide For Injured Workers -- Temporary Total Incapacity Benefits, page 5," accessed on Nov. 20, 2017