Workers’ Compensation claims are designed to compensate an employee injured on the job for lost wages and medical expenses. Lost wages can include money for time lost at work while recovering from a temporary disability or future earnings that an employee can no longer earn due his or her workplace injury.When Should I File a Claim for Workers’ Compensation Lost Wages?
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) states that an employee who suffers a work-related injury or illness resulting in the employee missing at least five full or partial days of work must have their employer complete an Employer’s First Report of Injury or Fatality form (also known as Form 101) and have one copy filed with Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA), one copy with employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider, and one copy given to the injured worker. The form must be properly filed within seven days of the fifth day of lost work due to an on-the-job injury or illness. The workers’ compensation insurance carrier is then given 14 days to determine whether it will pay the claim.
As workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Office of Jeffery S. Glassman, LLC can explain, if your employer fails to send Form 101 to the insurance company within 30 calendar days from your injury report, you should report the injury claim to the insurance company yourself or complete another form provided by DIA.
It should not be hard for you to figure out where to send the claim, because your employer is required by Massachusetts law to display a poster containing the name and address of the insurance carrier at your workplace. If your employer is not carrying workers’ compensation insurance, which would be a violation of state law, your attorney can discuss with you the existence of a state fund to compensate victims of workplace injuries when an employer is non-compliant.How Long Does It Take to First Receive Benefits?
According to Massachusetts law, if your employer approves the claim, you should start receiving benefits within four weeks of submitting the claim. You are not entitled to compensation for the first five days of lost wages, unless you are disabled for more than three weeks.What Does “Pay-Without-Prejudice” Mean?
For the first six months after your injury, benefits are considered to be “Pay-Without-Prejudice.” This means that your employer is not required to make a final determination on your case, and payment for this period does not mean they have accepted liability. The insurance provider may reduce your benefits or discontinue benefits by filing a form provided by DIA, as long as you are given seven days notice.
If your insurance company denies your claim, you have a right to appeal this denial, but you must do so quickly. DIA and EOLWD both strongly recommend you obtain legal representation prior to filling out an appeal form. If you have an attorney on your side who is familiar with the process and is fighting for your rights, you have a much greater chance of receiving a full and appropriate workers’ compensation award.Work Injury - (617) 367-2900 -- Free Consultation