Photo of the attorneys of Pierce Pierce and Napolitano,

Fighting For You And Your Future

What to do if your claim is denied

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2023 | Worker's Compensation

The Massachusetts workers’ compensation system is intended to give workers the benefits they need to pay for medical care after they are injured on the job. If their injuries are serious enough that they are unable to return to work for more than a short time, the system can also provide them with benefits based on a percentage of their wages.

If everything goes as intended in your case, you get the care you need, you get some income while you are unable to return to work and your job is waiting for you when you get back.

Unfortunately, things don’t always go so smoothly. Sometimes, employers and their insurance providers disagree with a worker’s characterization of their injuries. They may deny a claim or fail to pay everything the worker needs.

If this happens to you, what can you do?

Resolving disputes

The Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents offers a multilevel process for resolving disputes over workers’ compensation claims.

The first level is called conciliation. If you file a claim or the insurer files a complaint, the DIA can schedule a meeting to negotiate a solution. If the conciliation meeting fails to resolve the issue, the next step is called a conference.

The conference is heard by an administrative judge who has the power to order the insurer to pay your benefits. The judge can also order a pre-hearing conference and a hearing, which, hopefully, can help resolve your issues.

If you go through these processes and still don’t have the result you want, you may, in some cases, appeal the administrative judge’s decision to the DIA Reviewing Board.

If you go through all that and still don’t have the result you need, you may be able to appeal the decision in court.

It’s wise to seek out professional representation for any of these steps, and the DIA strongly advises anyone going through conciliation or beyond to have a lawyer.