How Long Does Workers’ Compensation Last in Massachusetts?
Workers’ compensation is intended to help injured workers and employees make ends meet while they recover from work-related injuries. While most people want to return to work eventually, the road to recovery can be long and unpredictable. Many workers’ compensation recipients are left wondering how long they have until their compensation ends and they must return to work.
Exactly how long you can expect your workers’ compensation payments to continue will depend on your unique circumstances. Some people need compensation until they make a full recovery and get back to work. Other people need compensation for a bit longer if their recovery process is not as quick as they anticipated. Other people may never return to work and may rely on compensation for a longer time.
If you currently receive workers’ compensation benefits, or you are applying for these benefits, contact our Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorneys for guidance. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 for a free consultation. We can help you determine how long you can expect to receive compensation.
Duration of Workers’ Compensation in Massachusetts Depends on Your Needs
How long workers’ compensation will last is a difficult question to answer. Different injuries will require different levels of compensation. Some compensation will be temporary and other compensation may be long-lasting or even permanent. How long workers’ compensation will last in Massachusetts will depend on the needs of the recipient. To determine how long you should receive payments, call our Boston workers’ compensation lawyers.
In general, recipients with temporary injuries will be covered for as long as their injury persists and keeps them from working. For example, if you cannot work for three months because of your injury, you will be covered for three months. However, your compensation will be terminated once you return to work. The longer you are out, the longer your compensation will last.
However, more permanent injuries will result in more extended compensation. According to § 34 of title 152 of the Massachusetts General Laws, total incapacitation may last no longer than 156 weeks. Total incapacitation simply refers to a person’s inability to perform any work at all. It is not necessarily permanent. If it becomes permanent, § 34A states that compensation may last indefinitely.
Other types of benefits are made as a lump-sum and one-time payment. This kind of compensation may be for injuries that are also severe, permanent losses. For example, if someone loses a limb or suffers severe burns, they may receive such compensation. The amount of compensation typically depends on the level of impairment associated with the loss or disfigurement, but the payment is made only once.
When Workers’ Compensation Can Be Terminated in Massachusetts
Workers’ compensation payments come from the insurance company carried by the employer. However, the insurance company may contest these payments if it feels that the recipient has recovered from their injuries or has returned to work. Insurance companies are somewhat limited on when and how they may bring forward such a complaint.
According to § 8 of title 152 of the Massachusetts General Laws, an insurance company has a right to contest compensation payment for 180 days after the commencement of disability. These first 180 days are crucial because the insurance company may challenge your compensation payments without any penalty during this time. They could even terminate your compensation payments as long as the termination is based on the income of the recipient and they give seven days’ notice.
To prevent your compensation payments from being terminated, you must provide proof or documentation to the insurance company that you are still covered under workers’ compensation and they must pay you. If you successfully demonstrate that you are still entitled to compensation, but the insurance company fails to continue payments, they may be penalized with fines.
After the first 180 days, the insurance company may still call your entitlement to compensation into question. However, they may only do so on more limited grounds. If an insurance company is trying to terminate your workers’ compensation payments, please call our Cambridge workers’ compensation attorneys for help.
Continuation of Workers’ Compensation in Massachusetts Will Require Evidence
Workers’ compensation is not a guaranteed benefit. Many people are denied workers’ compensation because their injuries do not prevent them from working. Other people are granted benefits but have them terminated upon recovery. If an insurance company wishes to terminate your existing compensation payments, you will have to prove that you still need them.
This may be done by sending documentation of your injuries to the insurance company. For the most part, you need to demonstrate that your injuries still prevent you from working in any gainful capacity. This may involve a report from your doctor explaining the current situation of your injuries. Insurance companies may also contest coverage for medical treatments that they believe are not necessary. If this is the case, you have to demonstrate that the treatment is required for your recovery.
If your payments are terminated, and we are able to prove that your payments are still required and should not have been terminated, the insurance company may be made to pay you additional money as a penalty. This penalty is usually 20% of the total amount of additional payment due. Our Somerville workers’ compensation attorneys can help you fight to keep your compensation so you can continue your recovery in peace.
Contact Our Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you were injured at work and wish to apply for workers’ compensation, our Wakefield workers’ compensation lawyers can help. We can help you file your claim and figure out how long you can expect to receive compensation payments. We can also help you fight for your compensation if the insurance company tries to terminate your payments. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407to set up a free consultation with our dedicated staff.