When Can I Get Permanent Disability from Workers’ Compensation?

Under Massachusetts law, individuals who have been hurt on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Primarily, these benefits are designed to replace the income that is lost due to an injury and to provide medical benefits. Unfortunately, not all injured workers will be able to make a full recovery. If you have not made a full recovery, you may be entitled to permanent disability benefits. To learn more about how you can obtain your rightfully disability benefits, please contact an experienced Boston workers’ compensation lawyer today to discuss your legal options.

Eligibility for Permanent Disability

In order to be eligible for permanent disability workers’ compensation benefits in Massachusetts, you must be able to satisfy the following three requirements:

  1. Your injury must be work-related. To be clear, your injury or condition does not necessarily have to have occurred while you were actually on site at your place of employment. Instead, it is simply required that your injury or condition arose out of the course and scope of your work.
  2. Your injury caused an actual disability or impairment. This means that due to the nature and severity of your condition, you must have reasonably been prevented from working.
  3. You must be unable to return to your previous position. To obtain permanent disability benefits, a doctor must assess your condition to be so severe and permanent that it restricts you from being able to return to your previous position. Additionally, there must not be any suitable form of alternative employment available to you.

Permanent disability cases can be challenging. You should always work with an attorney who can help ensure that you are able to obtain the needed medical documentation to prove the severity of your injuries. Further, it is advisable to work with an attorney who understands Social Security disability claims so that you are recovering the full compensation that is available without any avoidable offsets.

How are Permanent Disability Benefits Calculated?

In Massachusetts, workers’ compensation disability benefits are based off of the injured employee’s average weekly wage. To calculate your average weekly wage, you will need to add up all of your earnings (including overtime and bonuses) for the previous 52 weeks of work before you were injured. Then, you will be entitled to two-thirds of the weekly average of this amount as disability wage replacement. Additionally, you will still be entitled to medical benefits. It should be noted that permanent disability benefits are subject to maximum amounts. The Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) reports that the maximum weekly benefit as of October 1st, 2016 is $ 1,291.74. Each year, your benefits will be adjusted for cost-of-living changes to account for any inflation. Most of the time (18 of the last 20 years) cost-of-living adjustments result in disability benefits being increased.

Contact Our Office Today for Assistance

At Fitzpatrick & Associates, we have been handling Massachusetts workers’ compensation claims for more than fifteen years. To learn more about what our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys can do for you, please call our office at (617) 825-0965 to set up your free initial legal consultation.