Massachusetts Legislature Considers Change to Workers’ Compensation

In another recent proposal to reform Massachusetts workers’ compensation law, the Massachusetts Legislature recently held a hearing in which it heard testimony regarding a change that is designed to increase access to workers’ compensation benefits and medical care for injured workers.

The proposal, Senate Bill 976, is designed to help low-wage workers by making interpreters and transportation to the doctor expenses the responsibility of the insurer. The Labor and Workforce Development Committee heard testimony by an attorney from a local organization in support of the bill.

In addition to making medical benefits more accessible, the bill would also lead to the increase of workers’ compensation benefits, since it would require the insurer and judge to take into account Massachusetts’ minimum wage and overtime laws when reaching a determination regarding the worker’s average weekly rate.

The reason that people believe this particular proposal is necessary is because when workers become sick or injured on the job, it can completely derail their lives due to an inability to work. Even in cases when the worker will eventually fully recover, during the period of time while they are healing and rehabilitating, they need the workers’ compensation benefits to help support themselves and their families.

Furthermore, in many cases, injured workers cannot find a way to get to the doctor for treatment. This would allow an opportunity to make transportation arrangements more accessible to a greater number of workers.

Some of the key provisions from the bill include:

  • The insurer [shall pay for services necessary to access medical care] including but not limited to interpretation, transportation, and other services necessary to allow the injured employee to obtain effective and timely health care services.
  • The insurer…shall arrange and pay directly for these necessarily incidental services upon the request of the injured employee or the health care provider, and otherwise shall reimburse expenses for these services.
  • Transportation services shall include door-to-door regulated taxi or equivalent transportation services where the injured employee cannot readily obtain private or public transportation.

This proposal is one in a recent string of bills proposed to help reform the workers’ compensation system in Massachusetts. Another recent proposal was intended to revise the guidelines for compensation related to burns covering substantial parts of the body. The hope is that proposals like these will help reform the system to make it more accessible for workers across the state.

If you get injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries and lost wages. The experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers at Pulgini & Norton offer comprehensive guidance and representation in these matters. We can 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 Issues Ruling in Third-Party Lawsuit Following Workers’ Compensation Injury, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, published May 20, 2015

Massachusetts Appeals Court Issues Ruling in Third-Party Lawsuit Following Workers’ Compensation Injury, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, published May 13, 2015

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