BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration will reduce the assessment employers pay to the state on workers’ compensation insurance policies by 0.05%, offering companies some tax relief.
For fiscal year 2016, employers will pay an assessment on their total insurance premium of 5.75%, which is remitted to the state. The previous rate was 5.8%. The new rate went into effect July 1.
The Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) administers the workers’ compensation insurance system and annually establishes assessment rates.
“After reviewing the current assessment rate and the economic outlook for next year, we recommended lowering the rate. This will further support businesses, and anything we can do to support businesses and spur job growth is a very good thing,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker II.
The Massachusetts workers’ compensation system is in place to make sure workers are protected by insurance if they are injured on the job or develop a work-related illness. Under this system, all employers in Massachusetts are required by state law to carry workers’ compensation insurance covering their employees, including themselves if they are an employee of their company.
The insurance pays for any reasonable and necessary medical treatment for job-related injury or illness, pays compensation for lost wages after the first five calendar days of full or partial disability, and in some cases provides retraining for employees who qualify.
DIA is funded through assessments on workers’ compensation policies and self-insurance programs for employers operating in Massachusetts. In addition, DIA collects statutory fines and fees. DIA also acts as a court system responsible for resolving disputed workers’ compensation claims, overseeing and adjudicating about 12,000 disputed cases each year.