Two reports released this month have had some startling findings regarding the state of workers’ compensation benefits in Massachusetts and nationwide.
One report was conducted by a group called ProPublica, an investigative journalism organization, in conjunction with NPR. The other report was conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Both studies found an overall decline in the amount of workers’ compensation benefits that workers received, which was attributed to changes by lawmakers, and also suggested to have been a result of the lobbying actions on behalf of big businesses.
However, despite the supposed “out of control” costs alleged by businesses and insurers, the reports found that businesses are paying the lowest rates for workers’ compensation insurance since the 1970s. The study also suggests that the true costs of work related injuries are being shifted to taxpayers, both in the form of medical costs and lost wages, presumably through unemployment benefits, which are not being covered due to inadequate workers’ compensation benefit determinations.
The reports cite to changes in the way that workers’ compensation programs work as making it increasingly difficult for injured workers to obtain the benefits they are entitled to. According to the report, workers’ compensation purportedly covers just 20% of the overall financial cost of these workplace injuries and illnesses.
For example, OSHA’s report cited to two relevant studies which were conducted recently in a major American medical journal, which found that more than half of work related amputation patients in Massachusetts didn’t receive any workers’ compensation benefits at all. Some employees told OSHA that they were afraid of being fired if they filed for workers’ compensation benefits for workplace injuries that they had suffered.
The main premise behind having a workers’ compensation system that employees agree to be bound by is to have a faultless system, whereby the sole determination is whether the injury occurred at the workplace, or arose out of the employment duties, and if so, then the injury qualifies. Massachusetts workers deserve to be compensated for the injuries they suffer as a result of working.
If you become injured at work, you’ll want to make sure that you’re represented by a workers’ compensation lawyer. The experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers at Pulgini & Norton offer comprehensive guidance and representation in these matters. We will assist you throughout the entire workers’ compensation claim process. Call our office today at (781) 843-2200, or you can contact us online in order to schedule an initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Massachusetts Appeals Court Denies Employee’s Psychiatric Workers’ Compensation Claim, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, published March 11, 2015
Appeals Court of Massachusetts Upholds Decision Based on Opinion Independent Medical Examiner, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, published March 4, 2015