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North Andover Workers' Compensation Law Blog

What are the rules for workers' compensation medical benefits?

When Massachusetts workers are injured on the job or become ill because of the work they do, they should be aware of the various workers' compensation benefits available to them. There are rules for all benefits they are owed and it is important to understand and follow them to maximize their potential benefits.

In some cases, disagreements arise between the worker, the employer and the insurer as to how injured or ill the worker is. To get medical benefits, the worker must have suffered an injury or illness because of their work and the condition requires medical care. The worker can receive reasonable medical care that is appropriate for their condition. They can also be reimbursed for the cost of prescriptions and mileage expended to visit their doctor.

Wall collapse injures several construction workers

Wall collapse is a constant hazard on construction sites throughout Massachusetts. Collapses often occur without warning, and workers near the wall can suffer serious injuries before they know what has happened. A recent wall collapse on a Lynn, Massachusetts, construction site trapped about 20 workers and caused serious injuries to several of them.

Lynn police responded to a call from an apartment building construction site. They found that about 20 workers had become trapped when a large section of reinforcing steel (rebar) fell on them. Many of the workers were able to extricate themselves without assistance, but four or five were still pinned inside the wreckage when police arrived. One worker was trapped under the rebar and could not free himself. Firefighters used a saw to cut through the reinforcing rods. The man was conscious and alert when he was freed but suffered severe injuries. He was airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital, but no details on his condition were released.

Man killed in accident at stoneware plant

Workers who handle heavy objects are always at risk that such objects will fall on them and inflict serious injury or death. Such accidents occur at many types of workplaces, including construction sites, factories and warehouses.

Recently, a Massachusetts man was killed in a workplace accident when a slab of marble fell on him in a tragic accident at a stonework plant.

Mental disorders and SSDI benefits

Many people in the Boston - North Salem area suffer from sharp mood swings that can interfere with their ability to carry out the functions of their job. The victims of this ailment may have difficulty earning a living because they are unable to hold steady employment. If the disability were caused by a physical malady, these victims would most likely not hesitate to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. When a mental disorder is the cause of the disability, however, victims are less likely to seek federal assistance. While a mental illness is difficult to diagnose and verify because it rarely presents objective symptoms, these disorders are nevertheless eligible for SSDI benefits if the basic eligibility requirements are met.

The disability must first be diagnosed as permanent or expected to last at least 12 months. The illness must also prevent the victim from engaging in substantial gainful activity. Substantial gainful activity is defined as the inability to earn more than $1,220 per month. The Social Security Administration has listed eleven types of mental disorders that can serve as the basis for disability benefits. The disorders range from neurocognitive disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder to eating disorders.

Who qualifies for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits?

Sometimes life brings unavoidable tragedy into our lives. Many workers and combat veterans have suffered from serious injury and are left with few options when it comes to finding help. Serious physical and mental health disabilities stop people from earning a living and properly providing for themselves, and their loved-ones.

Anytime there are obstacles to creating a financial foundation for yourself, you’re in trouble. Everyone needs money to pay their bills and have the life they dream about. If you are suffering from a serious physical or mental limitation, you could be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

Appealing a denial of workers' compensation benefits

A very high percentage of applications for workers' compensation benefits in Massachusetts are denied. Fortunately for injured workers, the workers' compensation statute provides a multi-level appeal process in which an injured worker may be able to obtain a reversal of the initial denial.

The first level of appeal is a written appeal to the Department of Industrial Accidents. The worker must provide the date of the injury, the first calendar day of missed work, the employer's workers' compensation insurer, the nature of the injury or illness, the nature of the benefits that are being requested, the potential number of days off work, the name of the first provider seen for treatment and the current provider.

Crane mechanic dies after falling into engine of crane

As this blog often notes, accidents can happen at any kind of workplace, and they can injure even the most experienced employees. The workers' compensation system provides a way for injured workers to pay for medical expenses and other costs after an accident. In the event of a fatal accident, workers' compensation benefits can help the worker's family.

Recently, an 82-year-old man was killed in a workplace accident while he was working on the engine of a crane at a construction site. According to news reports, the man had worked repairing cranes across Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire since he was 18. On this occasion, he was called to a construction site in New Hampshire to perform maintenance on a crane that was not working properly.

Construction worker killed in crane accident

The machinery that construction workers in Massachusetts use in their projects can dig deep holes in the earth, lift huge beams and drag tons of bricks anywhere they are needed. Sadly, they also seriously injure, even kill workers sometimes.

When a construction is worker is killed in an accident with a machine, the victim’s family is left to pick up the pieces. They must figure out how to move on without their spouse or parent. Workers’ compensation death benefits can help with the financial loss, though it cannot fill the emotional void.

Police officers credited with saving worker's life

Workplace accidents often happen in seconds. A worker is operating a machine or feeding metal or wood into the machine when suddenly, the machine traps an arm or leg. Quick action is often the difference between life and death when a workplace accident occurs. Two Rockland police officers have been credited with taking quick action that saved the life of a machine operator whose arm had been severed by the machine he was operating.

The two officers responded to a 911 call at about 5:50 a.m. from National Coating Corporation, saying that a machine operator was operating a machine when suddenly, his arm got caught in the gears. The gears pulled the man toward the machine and severed his arm. When police arrived, they found the 66-year-old worker sitting on a chair with a large pool of blood on the floor.

Obtaining SSDI benefits for back pain

One of the most common complaints made by people who work with their hands or legs is lower back pain. Many residents of North Andover and surrounding communities have experienced high levels of lower back pain; in many such cases, the pain becomes disabling and the victim is no longer able to work. The Social Security Administration recognizes the disabling potential of back pain, and it has established a number of spinal disorders that may qualify the victim for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

The conditions are listed in the SSA Bluebook as disorders of the spine. To be considered disabling, these conditions must be accompanied by evidence of one of three conditions. The first condition is nerve root compression, limited motion of the spine, motor loss and sensory or reflex loss. A second condition must present evidence of spinal arachnoiditis in an operative note, pathology report or acceptable imaging. The third category must be traced to lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) and be verified by appropriate and medically acceptable imaging.

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Torrisi & Torrisi, P.C.

Torrisi & Torrisi, P.C.

Torrisi & Torrisi, P.C.
555 Turnpike Street
Suite 44
North Andover, MA 01845

Phone: 978-291-6161
Fax: 978-682-3330
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