- When does the insurance company have to start sending me checks?
When you have been unable to earn full wages for five (5) or more full or partial calendar days due to an injury on the job, your employer has seven (7) days, not including Sundays and legal holidays, from the first date of loss, to report the injury to its insurance company. Once the insurance company becomes aware of your injury they have 14 calendar days to mail you a check or, if it intends to contest the claim, to send you a form stating its reasons for denying compensation.
- I don’t know the name of my employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. What do I do?
First, you should ask your employer. If they won’t tell you then go to www.mass.gov/lwd/workers-compensation. There you can find the name of the insurance company by using the “Workers’ Compensation Proof of Coverage and Verification Search” web tool which is located on the DIA landing page.
- The insurance company sent me a notice about having their doctor examine me. Do I have to go?
Yes, as long as you are claiming or receiving benefits.
- How long do I have to file a claim after I am injured?
Under MGL c.152, §41 for injuries on or after January 1, 1986, a claim must be filed with the insurer within four (4) years of the date an employee becomes aware of the causal connection between their disability and their employment. In the case of the death of an employee, the claim must within four (4) years of death.
- The judge ordered compensation paid to me, how long does the insurance company have to make payments?
Compensation must be issued within 14 calendar days of knowledge from any source that payment is due. This means that the insurer can wait until the 14th day to issue payment. An exception is made for employees of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and for employees receiving benefits from the Workers’ Compensation Trust Fund, whose checks may take a bit longer.
- I have a scar and permanent loss of function due to a work-related injury. Do I get any additional compensation for this?
Yes, under MGL c.152 §36 you are entitled to a one-time payment for certain scars on the hand, neck or face and permanent loss of function. You must wait at least six (6) months from your last surgery date or from when your doctor says you are at a maximum medical improvement.
- How long do I have to appeal an order or decision by a judge?
Under 452 CMR (1.11) and 452 CMR (1.15) you must file the Appeal of A Conference Order – Form 121 within 14 calendar days of the date of the order, and an Appeal To the Reviewing Baord – Form 112 within 30 calendar days of the date of the decision. 452 CMR (1.02) defines filed as: postmarked by midnight of the 14th or 30th calendar day.
8 How does collecting Social Security affect my workers’ comp benefits?
Workers’ Compensation insurance benefits are not affected by collecting Social Security benefits. However, your Social Security Disability may be offset by receipt of workers’ compensation benefits.
- I was injured on the job, and I’m getting weekly checks. My employer has terminated me; are they allowed to do this?
Unless your union contract, or individual contract of hire, requires it, an employer does not have to hold your job open while you are unable to work due to an industrial accident.
- Legal fees regarding the Workers Compensation claim are payable pursuant to M.G.L. c. 152, §13A.
- In the event of a lump sum settlement before liability is established said legal fee shall be15% of the settlement; if liability has been established said legal fee shall be 20% of the settlement. Client is in any event, responsible for attorney’s out of pocket expenses that have not been reimbursed in any prior proceedings by the workers’ compensation insurer. These expenses are payable in addition to the contingent fee.
- Any other attorney fees shall be paid by the insurer pursuant to M.G.L. c. 152, §13A in the event of an Order or Decision of an Administrative Judge or by Agreement of the parties. Section 13A, §10 authorizes the insurer to withhold 22% of the Employee’s compensation, during the first month following the Decision, Award, or Agreement as ordered by the Department to defray its share of the Attorney’s fee.