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Workers compensation process for City of Boston employees

The following is a guide for employees to workers’ compensation benefits provided by the City of Boston. We also have billing information for medical providers.

The City of Boston is self-insured for workers’ compensation benefits. This means that the City processes claims and administers benefits, not an outside insurance company.

There are two types of workers’ compensation benefits that the City provides: salary replacement and medical coverage.  You may be eligible for both depending on the facts of your situation.

  • If you get a work-related injury or illness, regardless of whether you miss work or need medical treatment, you should report it as soon as possible to your supervisor and to our office.
  • In an emergency, get emergency medical care right away.
  • If you are represented by an attorney for your workers’ compensation claim, the City can only communicate with your attorney regarding that claim.
  • If you get medical treatment related to your work injury, make sure your medical providers know that the treatment is for a work injury.
  • If you need legal advice, you must consult with your own attorney.
  • Our office does not handle workplace injuries for uniformed police officers or uniformed firefighters. We also do not handle claims for employees of Boston Water and Sewer or the Boston Housing Authority.

Workers’ compensation process guide

Workers’ compensation process guide

Fill out and sign the accident report form. Submit it to your supervisor or human-resources representative in your department. If you are unable to fill it out, you can have someone else fill it out for you.

We ask for a supervisor’s signature on the report just to confirm a work-related injury is being alleged. This signature does not mean the supervisor agrees or disagrees with the report. It also does not mean the supervisor saw the incident.

Please submit this form as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours of the incident. However, we will accept the form if you submit it more than 24 hours after the incident. Once the form is complete and signed, it can be submitted by the injured employee or by someone else.

Bring in, fax, or email your report to:

Workers’ Compensation Service
Boston City Hall, Room 613
Boston, MA 02201
Telephone: 617-635-3193
Fax Number: 617-635-3119

A representative from Workers Compensation will contact you to follow-up on your injury. They’ll also explain your benefits and discuss your medical treatment.

If you haven’t heard back within seven (7) days of reporting your injury, you can speak with a case manager by:

We may not have received your accident report.

You are only eligible to receive salary-replacement benefits through workers’ compensation if you lose five or more days of work. 

If you’re out of work for five or more days, you’ll need to provide us with all of your medical documents so that we can determine your eligibility for salary-replacement benefits. It is your responsibility to obtain and send us the medical records we need to evaluate your eligibility. This includes full treatment records, not just out-of-work notes.

If you are found to be eligible for salary-replacement benefits, you will begin receiving workers’ compensation checks instead of your usual payroll checks or deposits. 

We mail workers’ compensation checks weekly. We mail them to the employee’s residential address on file with the City, not a P.O. Box. They cannot be picked up at City Hall. Direct deposit is also not available.

Salary-replacement benefits are paid at percentages set by law of your pre-injury average weekly wage, and are tax-free.  

We may notify you that you will stop receiving salary-replacement benefits if:

  • we stop receiving your medical records
  • the records are insufficient, or
  • the records show that you are able to return to work.
Supplemental pay:

If you are approved for workers’ compensation salary-replacement benefits and your union contract or other applicable policy allows, you can use accumulated leave to supplement your workers’ compensation benefits. 

The most that you can receive between the combined workers' compensation benefits and supplemental pay is 100% of the base pay. If you choose to do this, you will go on a “leave of absence w/pay” status on the Department’s payroll using the earned leave.

The supplemental pay is not processed by the Workers’ Compensation Service as it is NOT a workers’ compensation payment. Rather, it is a taxed “regular payroll” payment. If you have been approved for workers’ compensation benefits, you should reach out to your department’s human resources or payroll officer. They will help you determine your eligibility to request this optional benefit. Please note: Workers’ compensation payments are tax-free. But, the supplemental pay is taxed.

The use of accrued sick time to supplement workers’ compensation benefits does not count as an instance under the City’s Attendance Policy. You also do not accrue sick time while you are out on workers’ compensation.

When you return to work, you may be entitled to credit some or all of your time off toward step increases. Contact your department’s human-resources representative for more information.

If you need medical care for your work injury or illness, contact a medical provider. Let them know that you are seeking workers’ compensation coverage for the treatment. The City currently does not have any preferred medical providers.

The City will cover medical expenses for work-related injuries as long as the expenses are:

  • reasonable and necessary, and
  • related to the alleged incident where you were injured.

To bill the City for this treatment, your medical providers must mail:

  • the appropriate insurance billing forms (HCFA 1500 or UB), and
  • the associated treatment record.

Without treatment records, the City will not cover that treatment or even review the bill.

If the medical provider charges you a co-pay, they likely don’t know that you are seeking  workers’ compensation coverage for the treatment. They may be putting the treatment through other insurance. Please note: If your medical provider is not sending us bills or treatment records, it is your responsibility to request and send us those records.

If you are ready to return to work after receiving benefits, you need to get medical clearance from your doctor.

You must notify the Workers’ Compensation Services office if you return to work while receiving benefits. If we do not know you have returned to work and you continue to receive workers’ compensation’s benefits, you MUST return all workers’ compensation payments received after the return to work.

If you return to work before a decision is made on your claim, you should notify our office as soon as you return to work. This will help speed up the decision on your claim.

If you are able to return to work, but limited because of your injury, there may be opportunities for modified duty for a limited period of time. Contact your workers’ compensation case manager for more information.

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