Massachusetts Workers Compensation Law Refresher

Are you & your employees covered in case of injuries on the job?  Do you know what the state requirements are?  Here is a quick, simple guide to explain the basics of Massachusetts Workers Compensation Insurance.

In the State of Massachusetts, Workers Compensation Insurance is compulsory, meaning that all employers are required to provide Massachusetts Workers Compensation Insurance for their employees.  Employers are required to provide Workers Compensation Insurance for all employees regardless of the number of hours worked, with the exception of domestic service employees who must work a minimum of 16 hours per week to qualify.  The employer must provide Workers Compensation Insurance for all employees, including themselves if they are an employee of the company (unless they are the sole proprietor of their company or the sole owner of a corporation).  They are also required to provide the insurance to all family members working for their company.

If an employer is not offering the required Massachusetts Workers Comp Insurance, the employer may be subject to certain fines & criminal penalties and can be issued a STOP WORK order to their business.  Companies which are owned outside of Massachusetts, are still required to provide Workers Compensation Insurance for the employees that are working inside the State of Massachusetts.

If there has been an injury on the job, the Massachusetts Law states that the employee who has been injured on the job, has the right to choose the initial physician.  However there is a waiting period,  that employee must wait 5 days after the injury took place before receiving any benefits.  Benefit payments can be temporary or permanent, the amount is determined by using a percentage of their maximum weekly pay.  If the employee has died as a result from an injury on the job, death benefits will be paid to the spouse / children of the employee and again the amount is determined by using a percentage of their wages.

An employer must make their employees fully aware of their Workers Compensation Insurance Coverage, posting a notice to employees in a public area, such as a bulletin board.  This notice must include the name of the Insurance Company, address, phone number, policy number and who to contact in case of injury on the job.  This information must be made readily available to all employees.  As the employer, you are required to fill out all necessary paperwork if there has been an injury on the job, providing a copy of the paperwork to the injured employee.  This form is called the Employer’s First Report of Injury or Fatality, insurance companies then have 14 days to respond to this paperwork.  The employer is not required to pay the employee for the entire day on the day of injury if they were not able to work the entire day.  However, if the employer does not pay the employee for that entire day, then that day of injury would be considered the first day of disability.   It is the employer’s right to attend all hearings & proceedings regarding their employee’s claim, however they are not allowed to speak unless they are called as a witness.  Employer’s should keep good records of all necessary information & should inform the insurance company of any pertinent information.

Is your company completely covered for your Massachusetts Workers Compensation Insurance?  Are you happy with your coverage?  We can help.  Call Smith Buckley & Hunt Insurance today, we would be more than happy to assist you, to ensure that your company is completely covered & answer any questions that you may have about your Massachusetts Workers Compensation Insurance.  Call us at 1-888-637-8579 or visit us on the web at http://www.sbhins.com.

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