Am I Still Eligible for Workers Compensation. . . ?

Have you suffered an injury while you were on the job?  Many people who experience workplace injuries have questions about workers compensation, readers can learn more about workers compensation, including whether they’ll be eligible for benefits and the length of time that their benefits will last.  More often than not, Massachusetts employees worry about their eligibility and whether they’ve done anything to jeopardize their rights to benefits.

Are you still eligible for workers compensation benefits?  Here are some frequently asked questions when it comes to eligibility:

1.  I’m only a seasonal worker in Massachusetts.  In fact, I’m only employed during the holiday season.  Yet, I was injured while I was working.  Am I still eligible for benefits?

The amount of time you work isn’t a factor for workers compensation benefits in our state.  Under Massachusetts law, employers are required to provide workers comp coverage for seasonal employees.  But the list doesn’t stop there.  Not only do Massachusetts employers have to provide benefits for seasonal employees, but they also have to provide benefits for part-time employees, and even for volunteer workers!

2.  I’m not a U.S. citizen.  In fact, I’m an undocumented worker in Massachusetts, and I was injured while I was on the job.  Are undocumented workers eligible for benefits?

Yes.  Massachusetts employers must insure all of their workers, whether or not they’re undocumented noncitizens.

3.  I own my own business, and I hurt myself while I was performing my job.  Am I still covered?

Yes.  Business owners are considered employees of their company, and Massachusetts law requires them to have workers comp insurance for themselves, as well as for any other employees they’ve hired.  Self-employed people, however, don’t have to buy workers comp insurance—it’s optional.

4.  I’m employed by my mother, and I was injured while making a delivery for her business.  Does workers compensation cover me even though I’m a family member of my employer?

Yes.  For the purposes of workers comp, family members are treated like any other employee and they’re eligible for workers compensation benefits.

5.  I had a prior health condition before I started working, but the condition was exacerbated by my employment.  Am I eligible for workers compensation if my disability started before I began working?

Workers comp covers prior health conditions that are worsened by your employment.  In other words, as long as your condition was made worse during the course of your work, you’re likely to be eligible for workers compensation benefits.

6.  My job has been really stressful, and as a result I suffered a heart attack.  I have some risk factors for heart disease, but the stress from my job led directly to the heart attack.

Under Massachusetts law, you’re covered by workers comp for work-induced heart attacks or strokes.

7.  I was injured in a car accident while I was on my way to the office.  Am I still covered by workers compensation insurance?

No.  An injury had to be work-related under Massachusetts law, and employees aren’t covered while they’re traveling to or from their place of employment.

8.  On the very first day of my job, I suffered an injury.  Am I still eligible for benefits?

Yes.  Workers comp coverage begins on your very first day of employment.

9.  I’m a contractor, and I was doing work in someone’s private home in Boston.  Can I seek workers compensation from the homeowner?

In some cases, yes.  This question can get a little bit tricky, and it’s important to speak to an experienced Massachusetts workers compensation attorney who can assess your case.

10. I was injured at work, but I didn’t report the accident to my employer.  Am I still eligible for benefits?

When you’re injured on the job, it’s important to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible.  Your employer is required to file a report within a certain period of time, and a failure to report your injury can mean that you’re ineligible for benefits.  If you were injured at work and haven’t yet informed your employer, contact an experienced workers comp attorney today who can discuss your options with you.

Workers Comp Attorneys Can Help

If you have suffered a work-related injury, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Massachusetts workers compensation lawyer today.  At the Law Office of John J. Sheehan, our attorneys will fight for you every step of the way.