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Frequently Asked Questions about Workers’ Compensation in Maryland

What is Workers' Compensation?

Workers' Comepnsation is an insurance program established by Maryland state law that all employers having one or more employees, full-time or part-time, are required to have for the benefit of their employees.

What benefits are provided by this insurance?

To be covered under workers' compensation, an employee must have received an accidental personal injury while working on the job.  The injury must have arisen out of, and in the course of, employment.  Not all workplace injuries are compensable.  If your injury is determined to be covered,  the employer or the employer's insurance carrier will provide medical and hospital treatment and partial income replacement benefits until you can either return to work or until you reach maximum medical improvement.

Who pays for workers' compensation coverage?

The cost of workers' compensation insurance itself is borne entirely by the employer.  No payroll deductions are taken out of your paycheck.  If your claim is found to be compensable, your weekly benefits and all medical bills will be paid directly by the employer or their insurer.  

What information is the employer required to provide with respect to workers' compensation?

Maryland state law requires every employer to post an official notice in a prominent site at the workplace.  It's usually put up on an employee bulletin board, by a time clock, in an employee lunchroom, or some similar location where workers will see it.  The poster identifies the employer as having obtained workers' compensation insurance and it outlines the responsibilities of both employers and employees.  It also provides the employer's full legal name, address, and the Employer's Federal Identification Number and the name of the insurance company providing this insurance.  This information is needed when filling out a claim form.

When should i report an accident to be considered for workers' Compensation insurance?

You should report any accident to your employer immediatly.  A delay in reporting may affect your claim.

When and how do I file a claim?

If you believe you have suffered a compensable injury, you may file a claim with the Workers' Compensation Commission by filling out an Employee Claim Form and then mailing it to the Commission.  If your employer does not have one of these claim forms, the Commission will send you one and all the necessary information you may need.  Forms are provideded without charge.

What do i do about a doctor?

Your employer or your employer's insurer will pay for your doctor's visits and treatment if the injury is covered under Workers' Compensation.

What medical treatment will workers' compensation insurance pay for?

All doctor bills, hospital bills, physical therapy, prescriptions, and necessary expenses related to the accidental injury are covered by this insurance up to the limits established by the Official Maryland Workers' Compensation Medical Fee Guide.

When am i entitled to benefits?

You are intitled to income replacement benefits if you miss more than three days from work.  If you miss more than fourteen days, you will also be paid for the first three days, provided your employer did not pay you for any of these days.  When your claim is received by the Commission, a claim number and a consideration date is assigned to it.  The consideration date means that we allow your employer or their insurer until that date to raise any objections they may have to your claim.

What if my employer objects to my claim?

The employer or insurance carrier will probably contact you directly and tell you what the objections are.  They must also inform the Commission, stating their objections or issues in writing.  If your claim is contested by the employer or insurer, it will be scheduled for a hearing before a Commissioner.  You will be notified about the hearing by mail.

How long will I receive Workers' Compensation benefits?

You will receive temporary total disability payments so long as you are unable to work because of the accidental injury, or until you reach maximum medical improvement.

What if my injury prevents me from returning to my job?

If you are not capable of returning to your job or some other comparable job for which you are qualified, you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation and training.  Call the Workers' Compensation Commission for more information.

What kind of benefits will I receive if I have a permanent disability?

You will receive weekly benefits for a specified period of time, based on the type and extent of your permanent disability.  Benefits for workers who have been totally and permanently disabled may continue indefinitely.  medical evaluations are usually required to establish the nature and extent of any permanent disability.

What happens after I file a claim?

If you do not receive any benefits from your employer or the insurer, or are not receiving the benefits to which you believe you are entitled, you may request a hearing before the Workers' Compensation Commission.  Your case will be decided by a Commissioner who, like a judge, listens to both sides of the case and determines what benefits, if any, you should receive.  The Commissioner's decision will be based on the law and facts involved in your particular case.  Any party disagreeing with the decision of the Commession may file an appeal with the Circut Court of Maryland.

Do I have to have a lawyer?

You may have an attorney of your choice represent you, or you may represent yourself.  The Commission itself does not represent you, nor can any Commissioner be your attorney.

Who pays for my attorney in a Workers' Compensation dispute?

Do not pay money to anyone to assist you with your claim.  If you hare a lawyer, the Commission will fix the attorney's fees.  If an award is made to you, the fee will be deducted from your awards, and paid separately by the employer or insurance company to the attorney.

Where can I go to get more information?

If you would like general information about the Workers' Compensation program in the state of Maryland, you can visit the Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission website.

If you would like to receive legal advice regarding your specific situation, you can contact the Gaudreau Law Firm to schedule time with Ken.