If you hurt your back, break a bone, or develop an illness while you are at work, you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits. Federal employees are generally covered under Federal Employees Compensation Act, State employees and workers in the private sector are generally covered under state workers’ compensation laws. Let’s take a look at the minimum requirements for eligiblility for workers compensation benefits.
You Must Take Time Off Because of Your Injury
Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to replace lost earnings resulting from missed work after a work-related injury. Employees must therefore typically miss a certain number of days of work before becoming eligible for benefits. However, if you believe that an injury occurred at work, and this injury has led to decreased hours or caused you to miss work, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney about your eligibility for filing for compensation. An attorney should be able to advise you of your rights, and whether you have a good case under the law.
File Your Claim As Soon as Possible
There are two actions that you must take if you are planning on filing a workers’ compensation claim. First, you must tell your employer about your injury and the details of how that injury occurred, which should trigger an employer’s first report of injury. You must then file a claim with the state agency tasked with administering workers’ compensation benefits. But be careful. Every state’s workers’ compensation laws require you to file a claim within a certain amount of time. In Massachusetts, an injured employee must file a claim within four years of the time that he became aware of the causal connection between his disability and his employment.
Details Matter In Workers Compensation Cases
When you file your claim, you should be prepared to offer as much evidence as necessary to support your claim. You will want to know of any witnesses who saw the injury take place, camera footage of the accident, and medical records documenting your incapacity from work and the fact that the incapacity was the result of a work-related accident or hazard undergone. If you have developed an illness, it is a good idea to bring to your lawyer’s attention any improper working conditions or OSHA violations that could have caused you to become sick.
Workers compensation benefits include the payment of medical bills and lost wages while you are out of work. Establishing your benefit rate, your incapacity, that the injury is work related, that you have no capacity or limited capacity to do other kinds of work and other requirements can become complex. Although you don’t have to hire an attorney, it is helpful to have an attorney licensed to practice in your state of Massachusetts who is experienced in all kinds of workers’ compensation claims.