If you have been injured in a work-related accident, workers’ compensation should include medical benefits and a percentage of your wages while you are unable to work. There may be additional benefits available that include services to retrain you for a different job as well.
Your medical benefits should include each and every medical expense associated with your work injury. You may even be entitled to mileage for going to and from the doctor.
A workers’ compensation lawyer can go through all of your benefits with you and make sure that your employer or its insurance company is giving you everything that you are entitled to receive.
Percentages of Lost Wages
The amount that you receive for lost wages is only a portion of what you would have earned if you were working. Each state varies slightly on the portion of your earnings your benefits will cover.
- New Hampshire: 60 percent
- Massachusetts: Varies
- Rhode Island: 75 percent
If you are unable to work while you recover, your benefits in Massachusetts will likely be 60 percent of your average wage before the injury while you recover.
Additional Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The benefits mentioned above are all available while your claim is pending, but you may have additional benefits when your claim closes as well. These benefits will vary significantly depending on the type and seriousness of your injury.
In Massachusetts, the amount of benefits you will receive varies slightly depending on your injury. If you are considered permanently incapacitated, then you will receive benefits that are two-thirds of your average wage. If you totally incapacitated, but not permanently, then your benefits will be 60 percent of your average wage. Partial incapacity benefits are 60 percent of the difference between your average wages before the injury compared to your average wages after the injury. In that situation, if your before-injury earnings are the same as your-after-injury earnings, then you may not be entitled to any additional benefits.
Awards for workers’ compensation benefits based on lost wages are measured in weeks. For example, if you lost your leg in a work accident in Massachusetts, you would be entitled to 39 weeks of benefits. If a doctor determines that you have lost a percentage of use of your leg (even if you did not physically lose a portion of your leg), then you would multiply that percentage by 39 to determine how many weeks of compensation that you should receive. These benefits are based on the “average weekly wage in the commonwealth at the date of the injury,” not your average weekly wage.
The average weekly wage of the commonwealth changes from year to year in October. If, for example, you were injured between October 1, 2014, and September 30, 2015, then the average weekly wage in the common wealth that would apply to you would be $1,214.99.
Getting All the Benefits You Deserve
Unfortunately, employers and their insurance companies will sometimes attempt to pay you less than you are entitled to under the law for workers’ compensation benefits. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you work with the insurer or employer to ensure that you receive all of the benefits you should be getting for your injury. Contact Jim Glaser Law today to have your case reviewed for free.