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Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Laws

Massachusetts is rich with colonial history, from Plymouth Rock to the Old State House to the Minute Man National Historical Park. But the Bay State is no relic -- as an employee in this technology mecca, you know that Silicon Valley is not the only place to find high tech innovation. If you are injured due to a mishap in the lab after a miscalculation, or an old-fashioned slip and fall in the office, your employer is required under Massachusetts workers' compensation laws to provide you with benefits to aid you in your recovery.

The table and explanations below summarize the critical portions of Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Laws.

Statute Section

MGL c. 152

Benefit Time Limits


  • Waiting Period: 5 days
  • Retroactive after: 21 days

Filing Time Limits


  • Notice to employer: as soon as practicable
  • Claim for compensation: 4 years

Mental Injuries

  • Some

Choice of Doctor


  • Yes, unless treatment funded by the Workers' Compensation Trust Fund


Coverage is required for most employers, but elective for employers of certain domestic workers. Most physical injuries and occupational diseases are covered. Mental injuries are not compensable where they arise from a bona fide, personnel action including a transfer, promotion, demotion, or termination. This means that if you require medical treatment for anxiety attacks after a promotion, it is unlikely you will receive compensation for your that treatment. The exception to this requirement is where the circumstances would support an action for intentional infliction of emotional distress.


Massachusetts offers wage replacement, medical treatment, and vocational rehabilitation benefits. Wage replacement for partial incapacity is typically limited to 260 weeks, but may be doubled in select cases. If you have dependents, you may be entitled to additional compensation. If you do not participate in vocational rehabilitation, your benefits may be reduced unless you prove that vocational rehabilitation is inappropriate.

Dispute Resolution

If your claim is denied or your insurance company's payments are less than you were expecting, you will need to file an Employee Claim Form - Form 110 in order to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. At this hearing, you or your attorney will present evidence supporting your position that you are entitled to certain compensation benefits from your employer's insurance company. That evidence could include testimony by your physician, documentation proving that you have dependents, and/or testimony by your coworker proving that your injury was the result of an accident. If your employer was breaking the law by not having insurance coverage, you may be entitled to benefits from the Workers' Compensation Trust Fund.

Talk to an Attorney About Your Massachusetts Workers' Comp Claim

Work-related injuries are tough on employees and employers alike. Fortunately, the workers' compensation system is designed to permit employees to recover compensation for their injuries without needing to prove that their employer was at fault. But the no-fault system can be confusing. If you suffered an injury at work and need skilled legal assistance, get help from an experienced Massachusetts injury attorney today.

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