Understanding Boston workers’ compensation can be difficult, especially after suffering a devastating injury. A person may believe that his or her employer would fairly compensate their needs automatically, however, this is not always true. In many work-related injury cases, a person may benefit significantly from seeking the legal counsel of a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney. He or she could examine the factors that may have contributed to your accident and work to ensure fair treatment and compensation. Call and schedule a meeting to begin reviewing your potential legal options.
Potential Future Impact of Workers’ Compensation
When a person receives weekly workers’ compensation benefits, those benefits may apply to his or her future needs by giving them a source of income while he or she is disabled from work. In Massachusetts, a workers’ compensation claim is settled with liability in the majority of cases. This often means that the injured worker’s future medical treatment for the accepted work-related injuries will be paid by workers’ comp even though the claim was settled.
However, the injured worker and his or her medical provider still must obtain approval from the workers’ comp insurer for post-settlement medical treatment through the Utilization Review (UR) process. As long as the proposed medical treatment is reasonable, necessary, and causally related to the accepted work injury, the insurer should pay for the treatment. If there is a dispute and the insurer denies the treatment, the injured worker typically retains the right to file a new workers’ compensation claim to have an Administrative Judge at the DIA determine whether or not the insurer has to pay for the denied medical treatment. Before attempting to handle workers’ compensation issues alone, a person may want to seek the legal guidance of a skilled attorney who has a deep understanding of Boston workers’ compensation cases.
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
Besides the utilization review process, a person may have other options for enhancing his or her workers’ compensation situation. In addition to continuing medical benefits on settlements with liability accepted, an injured worker also may receive vocational rehabilitation benefits paid for by the insurer. The injured worker has two years from the date when the settlement was approved to schedule an appointment with a DIA vocational rehabilitation review officer to determine if he or she is eligible. At a minimum, the injured worker must have a high school diploma or a GED to be eligible. He or she should have a basic proficiency in the English language. The applicant generally will need a current work release note from his or her doctor that identifies their limitations. If the doctor says the person returned to his or her pre-injury condition and they can work without restrictions, then the injured worker will most likely not be eligible for vocational rehabilitation benefits.
Working with Restrictions
Sometimes, the doctor says the injured worker can work with restrictions. For example, a person may be prohibited from lifting more than a certain amount of weight, completing repetitive activities, or standing for prolonged periods of time. The injured worker may not be able to do the job he or she previously had and therefore cannot earn as much. The purpose of vocational rehabilitation benefits is to give an employee further assistance in the process of returning to the workforce or the job market and allowing him or her to earn what they earned before. With retraining, the injured person may be able to do another job that is less physically-demanding and within the limitations recommended by his or her treating physician.
How Workers’ Compensation and Unemployment Benefits May Coincide
If the injured worker’s doctor says a person is partially disabled, he or she could receive unemployment benefits. The workers’ compensation insurer is generally entitled to a dollar-for-dollar offset based on the amount of unemployment benefits the person receives and the amount of his or her partial benefits. Depending on the partial compensation rate and amount unemployment benefits, it is possible that the injured worker may not receive any partial benefits while receiving unemployment because of the offset.
If the injured worker exhausts unemployment benefits and is still disabled, he or she could start receiving workers’ compensation partial benefits. If there is a change in circumstance such as a surgery that renders a person totally disabled, he or she could receive temporary total incapacity benefits. If the insurer will not agree to pay partial or temporary total incapacity benefits, then the injured individual could file a claim at the DIA. Understanding Boston workers’ compensation to its full capacity could be complicated. There are many different ways a person could influence workers’ compensation. Someone who is interested in claiming workers’ compensation should speak with a qualified attorney.
Comprehending Workers’ Compensation in Boston
If you or a loved one suffered an injury following an accident at work, you may be interested in filing for workers’ compensation. Understanding Boston workers’ compensation can be an arduous task and a person may greatly benefit from the advocacy of an adept workers’ compensation attorney. Call and schedule a legal consultation to start discussing how an attorney could assist you.