Permanent and Total Disability Benefits
The Massachusetts workers’ compensation system is designed to provide injured workers with benefits and reimbursement for medical expenses when they are injured on the job. This seems relatively straightforward, but the claims process can be complex, especially when there are serious injuries involved. That’s where a seasoned Boston workers’ compensation attorney can help. At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates PC, we have represented countless injured workers in workers’ compensation claims and helped them fight for the fair treatment and outcomes that they deserve. We know how important these benefits and reimbursements are to you and your family, especially if your injuries are permanent and will have a lasting impact on your job prospects.Bringing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Massachusetts
The Department of Industrial Accidents is the state agency that oversees workers’ compensation claims. It assigns administrative law judges to review claims and to make decisions about whether the applicant is entitled to benefits. Massachusetts requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance regardless of the number of hours that an employee works during any given week with some exceptions. If you are injured on the job, it is important that you notify your employer immediately and seek prompt medical attention.
Some injuries are obvious like sudden head traumas or broken bones. Other types of compensable injuries include wear and tear injuries that accrue over a long period of time, usually from performing repetitive movements such as factory line work. In either instance, the judge will review whether there is enough evidence to show that your injury was causally related to your employment duties. This can be more difficult in claims involving wear-and-tear injuries because the injury did not result from a singular, identifiable event. Another complexity that commonly arises relates to pre-existing injuries. If you suffer from a pre-existing injury or medical condition and the injury affects the same body part or condition, you must show that the injury was the prevailing cause of your worsened symptoms. An experienced work injury lawyer can help you navigate the complications that can come up relative to this kind of claim.Permanent and Total Disability Benefits
Once you file your claim, you will be asked to undergo a medical examination to evaluate your injury. The physician will evaluate whether your injury is temporary or permanent and whether it is partial or total. This information will then be used to determine the amount and duration of your benefits as well as the scope of medical treatment that you are eligible to receive as reimbursable treatment. Permanent and total disability benefits, also referred to as Section 34A benefits, are awarded to employees who have suffered the most severe type of harm on the job. In order to be awarded this level of benefits, medical experts must conclude that you are unable to perform any type of employment, including the same job that you had at the time you were injured.
Employees suffering from permanent and total disability are eligible to receive benefits in the amount of 60% of their average weekly wages. The average is calculated based on the 52-week period prior to the injury. There are some minimum and maximum limits that may impact the calculation, which the Massachusetts legislature modifies every year in October. The employee will also be eligible to receive reimbursement for reasonable medical care associated with the injury, including prescription medications and mileage reimbursement for medical appointments.Boston Attorney for Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you believe that you were hurt on the job, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine your legal options. Massachusetts law puts time limits on when you can bring your claim, which means that you could waive your right to benefits and medical expense reimbursement if you do not act promptly. Our compassionate team of Boston legal professionals will assist you with all aspects of the claims process for permanent and total disability benefits, including understanding your legal rights and securing the outcome that you deserve. With availability to serve clients located in areas around Cambridge, Lowell, Waltham, Newton, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Somerville, Brookline, and Peabody, we offer a free consultation to help you learn more about how we can assist you. Call us at 1-800-262-9200 or contact us online to get started.