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Workers’ Compensation Rate Hike Denied in Mass.

Officials with the Massachusetts Division of Insurance recently announced rejection of a request to increase the state’s workers’ compensation rates by close to 19 percent. According to the Insurance Journal, regulators decided that they were going to reject the request and keep the rates as they are, following a five-month hearing process and comment period.
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The hike was initially requested earlier this year in March. It was made by the Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts (WCRIB). It was made on behalf of all its members. They submitted this request and hoped that it would take effect by September. They were sadly mistaken.

Our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys understand the importance of this kind of security. Workers compensation provides injured workers with benefits for lost wages, for time spent off of the job and for compensation for their injuries or illnesses that were sustained on the job. In the state of Massachusetts, companies are required to carry this kind of insurance. Because of the recent decision from the WCRIB, rates will not be changed and businesses are estimated to save about $200 million on projected premium increases.

Upon the first filing for this hike, officials with the WCRIB looked to get a 19.8 percent increase, but later recommended an 18.8 percent increase. Neither was approved. Keeping these rates affordable is critical for businesses. The lack of a rate hike is also evidence that the system is solvent and working as intended — to protect employees.

Officials with WCRIB said that they realized that this was a pretty steep increase, but claim that it was justified because rates haven’t gone up since 2001.

To help to balance the proposed hike, Martha Coakley, the Attorney General for the state of Massachusetts, came back with a proposed hike of just under 9 percent. The State Rating Bureau also denied the proposed hike but has yet to return with a counter offer.

The Massachusetts Division of Insurance recent came forward with a statement saying that they encourage the WCRIB to resubmit a more realistic hike proposal.

Employers in the state of Massachusetts are typically required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance for workers. Workers who have been injured of suffered an illness on the job are eligible for these benefits. Coverage is to start your first day on the job. Even undocumented employees are eligible, according to MassResources.org.

In an event that you are injured on the job and you’re eligible for this compensation, you are allowed to get a weekly cash payment of up to 60 percent of your average weekly wage for temporary disability. You can also get a lifetime workers’ compensation benefits package if you’ve been permanently and totally disabled on the job.

The workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC are here to offer free and confidential consultations to those who have been injured at work. Call 1-877-617-5333.

Additional Resources:

Massachusetts Strikes Down 18.8% Workers’ Comp Rate Hike Proposal
, by Young Ha, Insurance Journal
More Blog Entries:

Massachusetts Construction Accidents: OSHA Pushes Site Safety, Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, September 7, 2012

Monro Muffler Brake Inc. Agrees to Improve Lift Safety, Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, September 5, 2012