The employee, a 35 year-old laborer, suffered multiple injuries including cervical and lumbar disc herniations while lifting a heavy piece of equipment. He subsequently developed depression secondary to this industrial accident. The insurer paid all medical expenses associated with these conditions.
After surgery, he was left with neurological deficits that prevented a return to his previous heavy work. The workers’ compensation insurance company was attempting to modify or terminate his weekly benefits under the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act when settlement was negotiated.
The employee, who earned an average weekly wage of $ 645.18, was receiving Section 34 benefits of $ 387.11 per week as well as Social Security Disability benefits that were reduced by his worker’s compensation benefits. Proper allocation under the Scioratta v. Bowens decision resulted in an increase of Social Security disability benefits.
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