H. 1684, An Act Increasing Injured Workers’ Access to Medical Care and Workers’ Compensation Benefits

The purpose of this legislation is to mitigate significant barriers faced by the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable workers when injured on the job. These barriers often prevent workers from obtaining timely and complete access to medical care and wage loss benefits. The bill requires employers to provide printed notice of key workers compensation information and information on illegal employer retaliation and fraud. It also requires the workers compensation insurer, to take into consideration information from the employee, not just the employer.  The bill would allow workers to request an expedited appeal hearing if the worker was denied workers’ compensation because of a wage disagreement.  H. 1684 increases the wage benefits for low wage workers to help reduce the financial hardship that takes place when workers become injured. The bill proposes to raise wage replacement benefits for low wage workers (workers earning $15 an hour or less) from 60% of their average weekly wage to 70%.  

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