If you have been injured in a workplace accident in Massachusetts, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation comes in two basic forms – wage replacement benefits and medical treatment benefits. After you begin receiving benefits, they could be stopped for a variety of reasons.
When you are injured or become ill on the job, your employer will report the injury or illness to its workers’ compensation carrier as well as to the Department of Industrial Accidents. There is a one-week waiting period before benefits can be paid out for all workers’ compensation claims. After the initial waiting period, you will begin to receive weekly wage replacement benefits, and your medical expenses relating to the injury will be covered if your claim has been approved.
The following circumstances could cause your benefits to stop:
- You return to work. If you return to work full-time, your benefits will stop entirely. If you are able to work only part-time, you may continue to receive wage replacement benefits each week.
- A court orders your benefits to cease. This can occur for a variety of reasons. Usually it is the result of an appeal or other court hearing to determine the status of your claim.
- The workers’ compensation carrier received a notice from your treating doctor saying that you are capable of returning to work. This must be accompanied by a notice from your employer that a position is also available for you to return to work.
- You fail to keep a scheduled appointment for an evaluation. Sometimes, the DIA will order an evaluation by a vocational rehabilitation officer or you will be ordered to submit to an evaluation by the workers’ compensation carrier’s doctor. If you fail to attend, your benefits could be stopped.
- Technical reasons. Sometimes documents that are required to be filed with the DIA are not timely filed or there is an error in a document. This can cause your benefits to be stopped.
If you think your benefits were stopped without good cause, you have the right to appeal or request that they be reinstated. It is usually much easier to prevent your benefits from stopping than it is to get them started again. For this reason, you should consider consulting with an experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney as soon as you realize that you may have a compensable on the job injury or illness claim. Your attorney can help make sure that all the proper documents are timely filed and that you comply with all requirements to ensure that your benefits are not unjustly stopped.
If you have suffered an injury or illness as a result of a Massachusetts workplace accident or incident and would like to know your legal options for a work-related injury, the workplace injury lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., can be reached by calling 800-367-0871 or by using our online contact form.