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How does one initiate a workers' compensation claim?

If you have suffered an on-the-job injury, then your world has likely been turned upside down. You may have felt great one second, and the next your body is wracked with unexpected pain. You might need extensive medical care that is expensive and burdensome, and the whole ordeal may knock you out of work for a significant period of time. With all this piling on top of you, you might find yourself asking how you are going to provide for yourself and your family.

Fortunately, your workplace injury may qualify you for workers' compensation, which can provide you money for your lost wages and medical costs to a certain extent. In order to obtain these benefits, though, you have to initiate a claim. If you are expected to be out of work for at least five days, then your employer is required to file Form 101, which is an initial report of the injury. This must be filed within a week after the five-day period. At that point, the insurance company has 14 days to investigate the claim and determine whether or not to pay it.

If your employer fails to report your injury, then you need to take action to ensure it is reported. The state provides Form 110, which is a direct claim from an injured employee. Once completed, this form should be sent to your employer's insurer. That contact information should be listed on a poster found in your place of employment.

Should issues arise with regards to filing your claim or challenging a denied claim you may want to consider obtaining legal assistance. A legal professional may be able to help you develop a legal argument that supports your position, which can make all the difference in recovering the compensation you need to get by while you recover from your injuries.

Source: Massachusetts Department of Labor and Workforce Development, "How to Begin a Workers' Compensation Claim," accessed on Jan. 20, 2017

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