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Who pays for workers’ compensation?

On Behalf of | May 24, 2024 | Worker's Compensation

Workers’ compensation benefits are crucial for Massachusetts workers who have an injury or illness they acquired on the job. The compensation you receive through workers’ compensation can help you pay your bills and stay financially stable while you recover.

You may wonder who exactly pays for the workers’ compensation benefits you receive. The answer is your employer pays. Although the cost of workers’ compensation insurance is the responsibility of your employer, the cost is not and should not be deducted from your payroll the way health insurance is.

Massachusetts law requires all employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, with only a few exceptions. If you are an independent contractor or subcontractor, check with your employer to determine if you are covered by their workers’ compensation policy. You might not be.

Workers’ compensation insurance options

Employers can purchase the insurance through a private insurance company or self-insure themselves. Employers may choose to self-insure if they find the cost of private workers’ compensation insurance to be too expensive. Self-insuring can sometimes save costs.

If your employer is self-insured, they are likely to still work with a third-party administrator, who is responsible for handling and processing workers’ compensation claims. This is who you will deal with if you file a claim.

However, your employer must follow the Massachusetts workers’ compensation rules and regulations regardless of whether they are insured through a private insurance company or self-insured.

How much does my employer pay?

The amount your employer pays for workers’ compensation insurance depends on various factors. One is the type of job you perform. Generally, the higher the risk of injury or illness on the job, the higher the workers’ compensation premium.

Although your employer must provide workers’ compensation insurance, they can still dispute a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. They may argue that they are not liable for the injury or illness since it did not occur at work. They could also claim that even if it did occur at work, it became worse due to the employee’s own actions outside of work.

Another common reason for disputing a claim is an accusation of workers’ compensation fraud. An employer might argue that the employee exaggerated the extent of the injury or illness or sometimes claim the employee made up the injury or illness altogether.

There are requirements and deadlines for filing for workers’ compensation in Massachusetts. You must comply with these to receive benefits. For example, you must report the injury or illness to your employer within four years of the date you became aware that the injury or illness was connected to your employment.

Failing to follow these rules could be fatal to your workers’ compensation claim. You can appeal a denial but getting it right the first time means the sooner you receive the benefits you are counting on to help you through this rough time.