When Massachusetts workers go to work, they don’t likely expect to be injured. However, many workers do jobs where the risk of workplace injuries is high. The risk may be inherent to the job or the workplace may be unsafe. In other situations, accidents unexpectedly occur and cause injuries in an otherwise safe workplace.
No matter how an accident occurs, however, workers may be entitled to workers’ compensation. This compensation is used to cover the lost wages suffered by the worker. Workers’ compensation also covers any medical expenses incurred because of an accident. The amount of workers’ compensation that an employee is entitled to will depend on if the person is temporarily or permanently injured, how long the person is away from work and what the person’s salary was to begin with.
According to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, a person is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for lost wages if the person misses six or more days of work in a calendar year. The days off do not have to be consecutive to qualify. The benefits will begin on the sixth day the person misses unless the person misses 21 days of work. If the person reaches 21 days of disability, then the person can be compensated for the first five days off.
The rate of compensation depends on the person’s average wages. When temporarily disabled, then they are entitled to 60 percent of their weekly wages. A person’s average weekly wage includes bonuses, overtime pay and weekly salary. However, a person cannot receive more than the state’s average weekly wage at the time when the workplace injury occurred. These benefits are available for up to 156 weeks.
Workers’ compensation claims can be complicated. It can be difficult for people to know exactly how much they are entitled to. People should consult with an attorney if they have questions about workers’ compensation benefits.