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Workers Compensation - FAQ

When you win, we win.

You are covered the moment you step foot on your job site. There is absolutely no time requirement that you must put in before you have workers compensation protection.

Massachusetts workers compensation requires that you miss five or more days out of work before you can receive a disability check. 

  1. If you miss less than five days the loss is, unfortunately, not compensable under the workers compensation statute. 

  2. If you miss more than five days but less than 21 days, the first five days are not compensable. A quick example: you missed 10 days out of work because of an injury and then returned to work on the 11th day. In that case you would be eligible to receive five days of workers compensation pay. 

  3. If you miss 21 days or more out of work because of an on-the-job injury your claim for benefits is retroactive to the first date of disability.

Massachusetts workers compensation is paid at 60% of your average weekly wage if you are totally disabled from work. 'Average Weekly Wage' is defined in the statute as of the total wages earned in the 52 weeks immediately preceding the loss divided by 52. There is a separate calculation if somebody is 'partially disabled' from work.

Workers' compensation payments come in three types. 

  1. The first is 'temporary total disability'. These benefits can go for a maximum of 3 years. 

  2. Some people suffer a 'temporary partial disability'. Temporary partial benefits can go for a maximum of 5 years. *It is important to note that you cannot combine temporary total and temporary partial disability benefits from more than 7 years of benefit. 

The final type of disability compensation is 'permanent total disability'. As the name implies there is no specific endpoint to this type of disability pay.


In Massachusetts the maximum weekly disability benefit, no matter what your average weekly wage, is the established 'state average weekly wage' on the date the person gets hurt. As of October 1, 2019, that figure was: $1,431.66.

The minimum total disability compensation rate is 20% of the state average weekly wage or $286.33 weekly as of October 1, 2019.

*Note: If an individual's 'average weekly wage' is below the minimum compensation rate then they will receive their own average wage as the total disability rate of compensation.

As indicated previously, total disability is paid at the rate of 60% of an individual's average weekly wage. If, because of limitations imposed by a work accident, an individual can return to work but is prevented from earning as much as they used to make because of their injury they would then be entitled to receive partial disability compensation. Partial disability is paid at the rate of 60% of the difference between what the individual used to make and what the individual can make. 

 

A quick example: somebody is making $750.00/week when they are hurt. After recovery they can return to work but, because of their injuries, are only capable of earning $500.00/week. The difference between what the individual used to make and what they can make is $250.00/week. Partial disability will be paid at 60% of $250.00 or $150.00/week.

No, workers compensation benefits are not taxable. That is true on both a federal and state level.

No, the statute provides 100% medical coverage paid for by the workers comp insurance carrier.

Yes, you can choose your own doctor. The statute imposes No Restrictions on choice of medical professionals. 

In almost every instance you will be more protected and have a better outcome by having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney advising you. Workers compensation lawyers work on a 'contingent fee' basis. That means you will never get a bill. The attorney is paid only if successful. Remember, only your personal attorney has your best interests at heart.

All payments made by a worker’s comp insurer are made out of a contractual obligation; not because they feel bad for you. Because of that there are many aspects of the law that an insurer will not tell you about. Only your personal attorney will have your best interests at heart. Because lawyers are paid 'only if successful' there is never a downside to speaking with and hiring legal counsel. Also, it is important to understand that just because an insurer begins to pay you does not mean that they must keep paying you. Massachusetts law allows an insurer to pay an injured worker for up to six months 'without prejudice'. That language, 'without prejudice', means that for the first six months an insurance company can stop your disability check at any point they choose whether you like it or not. Hiring an attorney at the very beginning, whether the insurer begins to pay or not, will enhance your chances of success later.

Yes, in addition to any type of physical injuries suffered by an employee if there is an 'event or series of events' experienced in the course of someone's employment that results in a mental health or emotional disability that condition can be covered the same as if the person had fallen at work and suffered a physical injury like a broken leg. It is, however, important to note that the event(s) experienced by the employee must be something unique and, generally speaking, not a part of their everyday job duties.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur No, you are not out of luck. If a MA employer fails to carry a policy as they are required a claim can be brought against the Workers Compensation Trust Fund. This is a state-run fund that would step in and act as the ‘insurer’ in that employee’s claim. The Trust Fund, in turn, would seek reimbursement from the uninsured employer but that is not something the injured worker needs to concern themselves with. There would be workers’ compensation insurance coverage for the injured worker.

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If you are hurt because of the negligence of a 'third party' you might have additional legal rights. For example, you work as a driver and are rear-ended by another vehicle while stopped at a red light. If you are disabled you are, initially, eligible to receive the full spectrum of benefits that the Worker's Comp. statute provides. Primarily that his disability payments and medical care. However, since your injury and resulting disability are caused by a driver who rear-ended you the law also allows you to sue the driver who hurt you in the traditional court system.

When you win, we win.

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Court Admissions:  Massachusetts State Courts, Federal District Court of Massachusetts, Social Security Administration, and Department of Industrial Accidents

Membership: Massachusetts State Bar

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Robert L. Noa, Attorney at Law

Address: 95 Rantoul Street, Suite 105, Beverly , MA 01915

The information contained on this website is presented for informational and marketing purposes only and is not to be understood as legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice respecting your individual needs. Robert L. Noa, Attorney at Law looks forward to speaking with you about your particular needs. Please note, however, that the mere act of contacting our firm does not create an attorney-client relationship. As a result, you should never send any confidential information to our office until a Representation Agreement has been signed by both you and Robert L. Noa, Attorney at Law.

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