When a person suffers an injury at work, the employer becomes responsible for providing benefits through workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance covers 100 percent of medical costs and also provides ongoing disability benefits for Massachusetts’ workers who cannot continue to work or who have to change to a lower paying job after their injury. Workers’ comp benefits can continue for long periods of time, provided the worker is still getting treatment for his work injury, and the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCII) recently released some insight into long-term claims.
Our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys believe that understanding NCII’s new study is important for every worker. The study shows that the benefits of making a workers’ compensation claim can continue for decades. This underscores the importance of successfully making a claim for benefits.
The NCII Study and Longterm Workers’ Comp Benefits
The recent study released by the National Council on Compensation Insurance looked at the medical services provided through workers’ compensation 20 years or more after the injury. According to the study results, 10 percent of the cost of the benefits for worker injuries that occur during the course of the year will be used for medical services provided 20 or more years into the future.
To determine information on benefits provided 20+ years later, NCCI considered several key factors including what types of future treatments would be driving costs; which categories of medical service would generate the largest costs; and the demographics of workers who are currently still being treated for workplace injuries suffered two or more decades ago.
The study revealed that older workers’ compensation recipients were not costing more money because of deteriorating health. In fact, the study found that claimants under age 60 were more expensive per year, per claim when it came to providing workers’ comp benefits. Instead, the reason that care provided 20+ years later has such a high cost is because the money paid in these years is more likely to provide coverage for things such as home healthcare; maintaining implants or prosthetics; or paying for prescription medications.
The study also indicates that the percentage of this years costs that go towards treating injuries decades into the future has been growing and is likely to continue to grow.
The Importance of the NCII Study
It is important for workers to understand that workers’ compensation benefits may be necessary long after an injury occurs. These figures show that many work injuries do have long lasting and sometimes lifelong consequences. Filing a timely claim is critical to protecting your rights.
A worker who does not report a work injury or make a successful work injury claim could be denied benefits for ongoing care and support. This worker who is denied benefits may have a lifetime of expenses that are difficult to meet. It is far better to make sure that workers fight for their benefits up front and follow all protocol for reporting work injuries and making a workers’ compensation claim. This way, the workers have the best chance of having their future medical needs met, even decades later.
If you or a loved one has been injured at work in the Greater Boston area, contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC for a free consultation. Call 1-877-617-5333.