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Workers Compensation FAQ for Employees

FAQ's

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE DIVISION OF INSURANCE REGARDING WORKERS' COMPENSATION?

The Division of Insurance (DOI) has broad authority to regulate insurance companies who write workers' compensation insurance. It also oversees group self- insurance plans. The Division does not oversee relationships between insurance companies and individual injured workers. Disputes over claims for benefits by employees, health care providers or others, are handled by the Department of Industrial Accidents. This state agency is located at 600 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02111. The telephone number is (617) 727-4900.

WHO HAS TO HAVE WORKERS' COMPENSATION INSURANCE?

Any person or business that employs workers must purchase workers' compensation insurance except (i) individuals employing people to do work on their own homes, (ii) non-profit corporations with no paid staff, and (iii) corporations in which each employee is an officer/director who owns at least 25% of the corporation and each has given up his/her right to workers' compensation benefits in the state.

WHAT GENERALLY ARE THE BENEFITS?

There are two kinds of benefits available under workers' compensation. The first replaces some or all of your pre-injury wage. The second deals with your medical and vocational rehabilitation.

I AM INJURED ON THE JOB AND NOW MY BOSS WANTS TO FIRE ME. I WILL LOSE MY HEALTH INSURANCE IF I LOSE MY JOB. CAN MY BOSS DO THIS?

People with disabilities, whether caused by a work accident or otherwise have certain protections under both federal and state laws. Maybe your employer is not familiar with modern vocational rehabilitation methods. Call your employer and the adjuster assigned to manage your workers' compensation claim today and tell them that you want to return to work as soon as possible. Professional vocational rehabilitation workers can help assess the job requirements, the accommodations that might be needed temporarily or for the long term, and see what can be done to help. Not everyone will be able to return to their former job with their employer, but many can. Others can return to their former employer in a different job. A few will have to find employment elsewhere, of course. Before you resign yourself to a job loss, ask for help. Last, should you lose your job because of your disability, which is possible under certain circumstances, and if your employer had 20 or more employees most of the time last year, a federal law called COBRA usually provides for continuation of medical benefits for a limited period of time. Ask your employer for information about eligibility and costs.

The Workers Compensation Insurance Questions & Answers were compiled to help consumers answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the workers' compensation program. Additional questions or comments should be made to:

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Division of Insurance
Consumer Service Unit
1000 Washington St, Suite 810
Boston, MA 02118-6200

Consumer Service Line Boston: (877) 563-4467
 

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