An employee who sustains an injury arising out of and in the course of his employment is entitled to the protections of the Massachusetts workers’ compensation act. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Walter J. Korzeniowski have the experience necessary to enable injured workers to collect the workers’ compensation benefits that they are due.
Disputes over entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits are handled at the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents and do not require the employee to bring a lawsuit or to sue anyone. Instead administrative judges determine whether the injured worker is entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits.
Receipt of cash weekly benefits is among the rights afforded injured employees by the act. Payments for “total disability” (when one can do no work) are made at the rate of 60% of the worker’s average weekly wage for the 52 weeks immediately preceding the date of injury, and are subject to a maximum that is adjusted each October 1st. Temporary total disability benefits can last a maximum of 3 years.
When the worker regains the capacity to work in some other job in the open labor market but continues to be unable to perform his regular job he may be entitled to “partial disability” benefits for a maximum of five years. Partial disability benefits are payable at 60% of the difference between the worker’s average weekly wage on his date of injury and the amount he can earn in the open labor market with his limitations. As with total disability payments, partial disability benefits are subject to a weekly maximum.
The commonwealth’s act also provides for payment of cash benefits for loss of function of a body part and disfigurement, including scars to the hands, neck, or face. Those benefits are in addition to weekly cash disability payments.
Coverage for medical treatment is also afforded by the act and in most cases is not limited in duration. Rather, benefits are available for as long as the medical evidence establishes that a particular treatment is reasonable, necessary, and related to the work injury.
Likewise, vocational rehabilitation is a benefit available to injured workers. Retraining and/or job placement assistance are among the vocational rehabilitation benefits available.