Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation

massachusetts worker's compensation text overlaying image of medford If you run a business and have employees, you’ll need to purchase Massachusetts workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, this type of insurance is a requirement in most states, including Massachusetts, with some exceptions. It helps pay your employees’ medical bills if they sustain an injury on the job. And limits your liability for workplace accidents, is a requirement in most states, including Massachusetts, with some exceptions. 

In Massachusetts, workers’ compensation insurance will generally cost you around $0.73 per $100 of covered payroll. That means, for example, if your company has a total annual payroll of $100,000, you will pay $730 for the year for workers’ compensation insurance, or around $60 a month. This rate, though, can differ depending on a variety of factors.

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The likelihood of an on-the-job injury at your workplace will help determine your workers’ compensation rates. When applying for your policy, you can classify different employees with different class codes to make sure you’re paying the right amount. For example, some office workers may have lower workers’ compensation costs than those who perform more labor-intensive tasks and are more vulnerable to injury.


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What’s Covered

If an employee sustains an injury on the job or becomes ill due to workplace conditions, workers’ compensation in Massachusetts will help them with their medical bills. The average weekly wage of the employee determines the workers’ compensation benefits. The amount depends on the type of claim.

In general, workers’ compensation in Massachusetts covers:

  • Accidents and injuries – If your employee needs medical attention, workers’ compensation will cover any medical expenses from a workplace injury.
  • Illness – If an employee becomes sick from exposure to allergens or other hazardous materials at work, they can also receive workers’ comp benefits to help pay for treatment.
  • Repetitive injury – It’s not just accidents that are covered: treatment for repetitive injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome, are also covered by workers’ compensation. 
  • Ongoing care – If your employee still has medical needs as a direct result of their accident or illness, even after they return to work, they can get benefits for ongoing care. This includes additional doctor’s appointments or additional surgeries.

In addition, if their accident or illness results in permanent or temporary disability, your employee will receive weekly or lump sum payments. If they have a temporary disability, their injury prevents your employee from performing their job. But they can return to work as normal once they recover. If a doctor diagnoses them with an injury from which they will not fully recover, they have a permanent disability. 

These categories fall into the following classifications:

  1. Temporary total disability (TTD) – These payments will be made if your employee is not able to work at all while recuperating.
  2. Temporary partial disability (TPD) – TPD payments will be made if your employee can still work, but only with certain limitations, such as needing to perform lighter duties or work fewer hours. If your company does not provide work that meets these requirements, the employee may still be eligible for these payments.
  3. Permanent total disability (PTD) – Employees who are unable to work due to an accident or illness, even after they have recovered as much as they are likely to, will be eligible for PTD payments.
  4. Permanent partial disability (PPD) – Employees who have permanent difficulties but can work with them will be eligible for PPD.


Massachusetts’s Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits

Some family members may be eligible for death benefits if an employee dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness. Weekly payments to cover a portion of the deceased employee’s income, as well as funeral and burial costs, are among the benefits.

Family members who are eligible include:

  • The deceased worker’s spouse, who must have been living with the employee at the time of death 
  • Children under the age of 18, or 24 if attending full-time school
  • A physically or mentally disabled child of any age
  • Other family members who relied entirely or partially on the deceased worker’s financial support, as determined on an individual basis

Dependent family members of the deceased worker will receive death benefits calculated on the basis of the person’s pre-injury weekly pay.

Surviving spouses are eligible for weekly payments equal to 66% of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage, but not more than the state average weekly wage at the time of death.

Once two years have passed since the worker’s death, spouses are eligible for yearly cost-of-living adjustments. If their spouse remarries, the children of the deceased worker will receive $60 per week, not to exceed the spousal benefit.


Massachusetts’s Workers’ Compensation Laws

Workers’ compensation insurance is required in the state of Massachusetts regardless of how many employees you have, and how many hours they work each week. You’re also required to be covered if you work as an employee at your business.

Domestic service workers are the only exception to the requirement; they must work a minimum of 16 hours per week to qualify for workers’ compensation coverage. In addition, self-employed owners do not need workers’ compensation insurance.

Massachusetts workers’ compensation law is administered by the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA). But the DIA is not in charge of setting workers’ compensation rates or class codes, which help determine workers’ compensation premiums. These rates and codes are instead set by the Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts (WCRIBMA).


How to Buy Workers’ Compensation Insurance

In most cases, you can obtain workers’ compensation coverage from a private commercial insurance company. EZ provides a simple online application for Massachusetts businesses to compare quotes from top insurance carriers, as well as licensed agents with insurance expertise who can help you choose the best carrier and policy for your business.

If you are unable to qualify for a workers’ compensation policy, you can purchase one from the Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts, the state’s assigned risk residual market. This is the last resort for employers in the state who are unable to find standard coverage due to a large number of previous workers’ compensation claims.

You can also self-insure your workers’ compensation claims. This means you will pay for your own workers’ compensation medical and rehabilitation costs rather than paying a premium and submitting claims to your insurer. It also means you will be directly liable for any lawsuits filed against you by injured or sick employees.

To become self-insured in Massachusetts, you must have at least 300 employees and $750,000 in standard workers’ compensation insurance premiums, as well as demonstrate to the state that you have sufficient capital to cover the costs of self-insurance.

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How to Get the Most Savings

The majority of the cost of workers’ compensation comes from factors beyond your control. However, there are still ways to save. Implementing a safety program is a great way to reduce workplace injuries and claims, which will lower your premiums. So regardless of your industry, it is important to have safety and standard operating procedures in place. Employees who have safety training are less vulnerable to injuries, lowering your workers’ compensation costs.

It is also a good idea to regularly review your claims history. Evaluating your claims history on a regular basis can help you identify and correct patterns. You might discover that certain aspects of your business operations are frequently causing claims. This allows you to adjust the operation to make it safer. You can save money by keeping an eye on potentially dangerous operations.

Correctly classifying your employees is one of the most effective ways to save money. When you apply for your workers’ compensation policy, you will classify each of your employees depending on their job’s risk. And this risk classification influences the cost of your workers’ compensation. For example, you might pay less to insure an office worker than you would a manual laborer. It’s also important to correctly classify your employees because you may receive a fine if you fail to do so.

Begin a free online application today to compare workers’ compensation insurance quotes for your small business from leading U.S. insurers. EZ’s agents specialize in insurance for a wide range of small businesses. Working with our agents can save you hundreds of dollars a year on coverage.


Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation FAQs

  • Are you required to have workers’ compensation insurance in Massachusetts?

The state’s workers’ compensation statute is quite strict: any business with employees is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. In Massachusetts, if you operate your business without workers’ compensation coverage, you may face severe penalties.

If you fail to carry workers’ compensation insurance as required by state law, the state may issue a stop-work order. This means you will be unable to conduct business in the state.

Furthermore, you may face a minimum fine of $100 per day, including weekends and holidays, for each day you do not carry coverage. Your penalty will grow daily until you purchase insurance and pay the full amount.

  • How do workers’ compensation settlements work in Massachusetts?

A settlement in a Massachusetts workers’ compensation claim entails an injured or sick employee foregoing the right to future workers’ compensation benefits in exchange for a lump-sum payment. All settlements are subject to the approval of a Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents administrative law judge or other conciliator.

  • What is the statute of limitations in Massachusetts?

The Massachusetts workers’ compensation statute of limitations is four years from the time an employee becomes aware that their employment caused their injury or illness.


Why Use EZ

We do everything in our power to make shopping for workers’ compensation insurance as easy and stress-free as possible. And we give each of our customers our undivided attention. As soon as you fill out our form, you will receive instant, free quotes from your dedicated agent. Who will give you personalized service and will work to understand your needs. We want to ensure that you get the best coverage at the best price. Our services are completely free so check out your quotes today!

If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at 877-670-3538. You will speak to a local insurance agent who can answer all of your questions. And help you find the workers’ compensation policy that works best for your business.

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About The Author:
Cassandra Love

With over a decade of helpful content experience Cassandra has dedicated her career to making sure people have access to relevant, easy to understand, and valuable information. After realizing a huge knowledge gap Cassandra spent years researching and working with health insurance companies to create accessible guides and articles to walk anyone through every aspect of the insurance process.

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