Most workers are entitled to benefits through a program called workers’ compensation if they become injured or ill on the job. But how long does it take to begin receiving benefits, and what exactly can an injured worker expect to receive?
If you’ve been injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits, which generally include a percentage of your lost wages, medical expenses, vocational rehab, and benefits for permanent impairment, should this become necessary. A Boston workers’ comp attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured in a work-related accident.
No Pain and Suffering
Workers’ comp benefits differ from personal injury awards in many ways, but one of the most distinct differences is the absence of a benefit for “pain and suffering.” Personal injury awards frequently include compensation for pain and suffering, which encompasses more than physical pain. For example, pain and suffering can provide compensation for emotional and mental injuries such as PTSD, insomnia, grief, and a decrease in enjoyment of life. Workers’ comp benefits do not provide such compensation. In essence, an injured worker only receives benefits related to his/her inability to work.
In Massachusetts, injured workers eligible for workers’ compensation may receive benefits for one of three different types of disability:
- Temporary total disability—When an injured worker is still recovering but is expected to get better, his/her workers’ comp benefits will generally fall under the category of temporary total disability. Workers receiving this type of benefit are entitled to receive up to 60 percent of regular weekly wages.
- Temporary partial disability—An injured worker who is expected to improve—and who can perform certain, but not all—job tasks, might receive benefits for temporary partial disability. Workers receiving this type of benefit are entitled to receive up to 60 percent of the difference between the pre-injury weekly wage and post-injury weekly wage.
- Permanent and total disability—If an injured worker is not expected to get better, this is known as permanent and total disability. Workers receiving this type of benefit are entitled to receive up to two-thirds of regular weekly wages.
The calculation for benefits is based on the period of time leading up to the injury (up to 52 weeks), including overtime. That benefit maxes out around $1,300, however, regardless of weekly pay. Injured workers must wait five days after the injury before receiving benefit payments. If, however, the disability continues for 21 days or more, the worker can receive compensation for lost wages during this five-day period.
Is there a Cap on How Many Weeks, Months, or Years an Injured Worker Can Receive Benefits?
In MA, as in most states, there is no limit to the length of benefits for a permanent total disability. However, temporary disability benefits can only continue for up to 156 weeks (three years). A MA workers’ comp lawyer can help you obtain the benefits you deserve in a timely manner.
In addition to a percentage of lost wages, injured workers who receive workers’ comp benefits are also entitled to payment of medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and even transportation. As long as medical costs are deemed reasonable and necessary, they will be covered, and transportation costs to travel to and from treatment may also be reimbursed. If an injured worker requires job training or retraining as a result of the injury, this is generally covered as well.
Altman & Altman, LLP—Boston’s Premier Workers’ Compensation Law Firm
If you have been injured on the job, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of MA workers for more than 50 years. It is our goal to ensure that you receive your full benefits in a timely manner. Further, if negligence played a role in your injuries, you may be entitled to additional compensation. Don’t go through this difficult time alone. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.