Partial Disability Benefits
Representing injured workers, we have seen firsthand just how devastating it can be to get hurt on the job. Some injuries that happen at work cause temporary injuries that can be addressed through medical treatment and time to heal. Other injuries result in permanent disabilities that leave the worker with a lifetime of pain and limitations. One of the most important things you can do to protect your right to workers’ compensation benefits is to tell your employer about your injury as soon as you think it has occurred. Your employer will then notify its workers’ compensation insurer. Even from the early stages of the matter, having a skilled Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyer at your side to ensure that you are being treated fairly and that the insurance company is playing by the rules can help you protect your rights.Seeking Benefits in Massachusetts
Whether your injury is due to a sudden accident or the result of repetitive ongoing tasks, the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system provides benefits that are intended to replace your missed wages while you heal and cope with your injury. It also provides reimbursement for reasonable and necessary medical expenses that you incurred as a result of the injury. The amount of benefits that you receive will be determined based on two factors. First, the duration of your injury, such as whether it is temporary or permanent will be considered. Second, the severity of your injury, meaning whether it only impacts a portion of your body or whether it is a total injury, is significant in this analysis.
Once you have filed your claim for work injury benefits, you will be required to go to a medical examination performed by an independent doctor. The doctor will address these two factors during the exam and prepare a report that includes his or her conclusions about whether your injury is temporary or permanent and whether it is partial or total. If you disagree with the doctor’s conclusions, there are ways that you can contest them and ask for another examination. You are also allowed to offer medical records and testimony from doctors who treated you for your injuries either before or after you filed the claim. It is important to be honest during the independent medical examination and to tell the truth about your pain, physical limitations, and whether you feel like you can return to work.Partial Disability Benefits
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development is in charge of determining the amount of benefits that a worker can receive. Each year, the Office creates a schedule that lists the maximum amount of benefits that a worker can get as well as the formula for determining the amount of benefits you are entitled to receive based on the average weekly wage you made during the year leading up to your injury.
If the doctor concludes that you have suffered a partial injury, you are eligible to receive partial disability benefits in the amount of 60% of what you would have received as a weekly wage before the injury. If, for example, you earned an average of $400 per week, your maximum weekly benefit would be 60% of that figure, or roughly $240. There are some exceptions and modifications that apply to this calculation, which is why it is critical to consult with an experienced work injury attorney to ensure that you are being treated fairly. For example, an injured worker with a partial disability is eligible to receive payments for 260 weeks, but this can be extended to 520 weeks in cases where a severe work injury occurred.Meet with a Committed Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Massachusetts
Many injured workers make the decision to file a claim without a lawyer assisting them. Although you are not required to have an attorney helping you, the claims process for partial disability benefits and other forms of workers’ compensation is incredibly complicated and there are countless rules that must be followed by you and other parties in order for you to receive benefits and medical expense reimbursements. At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates PC, our team of legal professionals is available to assist injured workers in areas around Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, and Peabody with understanding their rights after a work-related injury. We provide a free consultation so that you can learn more about our services and whether you should file a claim for benefits. Call us at 1-800-262-9200 or contact us online.