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Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Law

Massachusetts Workers' Compensation No matter how many employees you have in the state of Massachusetts, you need workers’ compensation coverage. The Massachusetts workers’ comp system helps protect both employees and employers.
 
For your employees, workers’ comp coverage provides benefits when they get a work-related injury or illness. For your business, workers’ comp limits your liability for workplace injuries or illnesses. Although, in a case of willful negligence by you, your business would not be protected from liability.1
 
Workers’ comp helps pay for any necessary medical care for work-related injuries or illnesses. It also helps partially compensate employees for lost wages after the first five calendar days of a disability.2
 
The Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) administers Massachusetts workers’ compensation law. As an employer in Massachusetts, you have certain obligations under this law. For more information, visit Mass.gov.
 

Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage and Rates

Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Law The DIA isn’t responsible for setting workers’ comp rates or class codes, which help determine workers’ comp premiums. Instead, the Workers' Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts (WCRIBMA) sets these rates and codes.3
 
As of July 1, 2018, the bureau recommended an 11.1% decrease in average rates for industrial classes and an 11.5% rate decrease for F-Classes. 4
 
For more information, visit the WCRIBMA’s website.
 
What’s covered? The Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act requires you to cover all workers at all times, covering:
 
  • Medical care for work-related injuries or illnesses
  • Partial wage replacement when your employees need time off to recover
Coverage requirements state you’ll need workers’ comp coverage for all your employees, regardless of how much time they work each week. You’ll also need it for yourself if you work as an employee at your business.
 
Domestic service employees are the only exception and need to work a minimum of 16 hours per week for workers’ comp coverage.6 Sole proprietors do not need to get workers’ comp coverage, unless they have employees.7
 
To learn more, get a quote from The Hartford today. We can help make sure you get the coverage you need.
 
Proof of coverage in Massachusetts is a “Notice to Employees” poster that you must hang in your work place. It should include the name of your workers’ compensation carrier,8 be readable in all appropriate languages9 and placed in a common area.
 
The Department of Industrial Accidents also has an online tool that allows your employees to see if your workers’ comp coverage is up to date.
 
If your business needs proof of coverage, contact our customer service team at 866-467-8730.  
 

What Workers’ Compensation Covers in Massachusetts:

Workers’ compensation insurance helps cover:
 
Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Insurance Accidents or injuries that take place on the job. If an employee is stocking shelves at your store and breaks his arm, workers’ comp can help pay the medical costs. 
 
Illnesses from poor working conditions, chemical exposure, or allergens.
 
Repetitive stress injuries that develop overtime and aren’t the result of a single accident. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome.
 
Missed wages when an employee gets hurt or ill and needs time off to recover.
 
Ongoing care, such as additional surgeries or physical therapy after an employee suffers a severe injury.
 
Funeral costs in the unfortunate event that an employee dies in a job-related accident.
 
Disability benefits if an employee is temporarily or permanently disabled from a work-related injury.
 

Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Rates

The Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) manages the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation system. The DIA is the court system for workers’ comp cases, providing support to:
 
  • Injured workers
  • Employers
  • Attorneys
  • Insurers
The DIA makes sure that every employer in the state of Massachusetts has the right workers’ comp coverage.10
 

Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Claims

Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Rates To file a claim in Massachusetts, visit The Hartford’s workers' comp claims page today. There, you’ll find the claims forms and tracking tools you’ll need.
 
When filing a claim, make sure you have the necessary information, like:11
 
  • The exact date of the injury, illness, or death
  • The type of injury
  • The injured body parts
  • The first day your employee missed work
  • The fifth day your employee missed work
  •  The doctor your employee is seeing for treatment
If an employee wants to appeal a claim that gets denied, it can be resubmitted to the Mass.gov’s website. The DIA will then review your employee’s claim.
 
 
This article provides general information, and should not be construed as specific legal, HR, financial, insurance, tax or accounting advice. As with all matters of a legal or human resources nature, you should consult with your own legal counsel and human resources professionals. The Hartford shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, special, consequential, incidental, punitive or exemplary damages in connection with the use by you or anyone of the information provided herein.
 
1, 2, 5, 6 “Employer’s Guide To The Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation System,” Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Department of Industrial Accidents, https://www.mass.gov/service-details/employers-guide-to-workers-compensation
 
3 “Workers’ Compensation Rates and Codes,” Mass.gov, https://www.mass.gov/service-details/workers-compensation-rates-and-codes
 
4 “Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Rate Filing – 2018,” WCRIBMA: The Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts, https://www.wcribma.org/mass/IndustryInformation/RateFiling/2018/RateFiling2018.aspx
 
7 “Corporate Officers and Sole Proprietors,” Mass.gov, https://www.mass.gov/info-details/corporate-officers-and-sole-proprietors
 
8 “Notice to Employees” The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2016/11/wo/f-er-poster-english.pdf
 
9 “Notice to Employees Poster,” Mass.gov, https://www.mass.gov/service-details/notice-to-employees-poster
 
10 “Department of Industrial Accidents,” Mass.gov, https://www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-industrial-accidents
 
11 “File a Workers’ Compensation Claim,” Mass.gov, https://www.mass.gov/how-to/file-a-workers-compensation-claim
 
The Hartford shall not be liable for any damages in connection with the use of any information provided on this page. Please consult with your insurance agent/broker or insurance company to determine specific coverage needs as this information is intended to be educational in nature.
 
The information contained on this page should not be construed as specific legal, HR, financial, or insurance advice and is not a guarantee of coverage. In the event of a loss or claim, coverage determinations will be subject to the policy language, and any potential claim payment will be determined following a claim investigation.
 
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