Boston workers’ compensation lawyer Michael O. Smith offers injured workers knowledgeable and comprehensive representation in their workers’ compensation claims. Mr. Smith advocates for workers who have been hurt or suffered an illness as a result of their employment. He has advised clients throughout the claims process and helped them fight denials of their claims. Mr. Smith is committed to providing aggressive advocacy for your rights and exceptional client service. Call our office to discuss your case today.
Temporary Total Disability
Massachusetts requires employers to provide workers’ compensation to workers who are injured on-the-job or who become ill as a result of their work. All injured workers, regardless of the type of injury, may be entitled to medical benefits to cover healthcare expenses related to their injury. Injured workers can also be entitled to receive lost wages, but the amount will depend on the extent of their injury.
If you were hurt at work, you can qualify for temporary total disability benefits for as long as your injury prevents you from performing any type of work. This means that you cannot perform any job, not just the job you had when you were injured.
Unlike a total and permanent disability, a temporary total disability is, by definition, temporary – you will be able to return to work at some point, even if it is not the same type of work you did prior to the injury. If your injury stabilizes, however, and results in a permanent and total disability, you may be able to claim permanent and total disability benefits without first exhausting your temporary total disability benefits.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
Workers with a temporary total disability can receive 60 percent of what their average weekly wage was before their injury or illness. Like permanent and total disability, the amount a worker can receive each week is capped at the state’s maximum weekly compensation rate. Unlike permanent and total disability, there is a limit on how long a worker can receive benefits. Temporary total disability benefits can be paid for up to 156 weeks, or 3 years.
To receive wage benefits, a worker must be unable to work for at least five non-consecutive days. There are no wage benefits for the five days unless your disability lasts longer than 21 days. For example, if your temporary total disability keeps you out of work for 18 days, you will only receive wage benefits for 13 days. However, if your disability lasts 30 days, you will receive wage benefits for all 30 days.
Lump Sum Settlements And Temporary Total Disabilities
You and the insurer (and in some cases, your employer) may be able to negotiate a lump sum settlement. The settlement is a one-time payment in lieu of the weekly wage you would otherwise be entitled to receive over time. Lump sum settlements are not a given in each case – they are carefully negotiated and subject to approval by an administrative judge. If you reach a settlement with the insurer, there is a presumption that you cannot return to work for a certain period of time: one month for every fifteen hundred dollars included as part of your future weekly wages.
Advocating Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Michael O. Smith is a Boston workers’ compensation attorney with over 15 years of experience representing injured and disabled individuals. Mr. Smith has advised clients through every phase of the workers’ compensation claims process, including denials. He represents clients at hearings before the Department of Industrial Accidents, and during any settlement negotiations with insurers. Mr. Smith will work towards getting you the benefits you are entitled to receive for your injuries. He serves clients in the Boston area. To schedule a free initial consultation on your workers’ compensation case, call us at 617-263-0060 or you can complete our online form.