How Does Workers' Compensation work in Maryland?
Date of Accident
You are injured on the job or develop an occupational disease that can be directly related to your job. The language requires that the injury “arises out of and in the course of employment.” If your injury is developed over time, your date of injury is the date in which a doctor diagnoses you with the injury and provides documentation putting you off work.
After the claim is filed, the insurance carrier has 21 days to provide benefits to the employee (2/3 of the average weekly wage of the employee) and cover healthcare expenses related to the injury, or to dispute the claim.
Notify Your Employer
Generally, you must notify your employer within 10 days of the accident that you were injured on the job. If you develop an occupational disease, you have one year from the time the disease is discovered (or the employee dies) to tell the employer.
A Disputed Claim
If your claim is disputed by the insurance company, you have the right to request a hearing where a neutral commissioner will hear evidence, and make a ruling either accepting or denying your claim.
File a Claim
You file a claim with the Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission.
This requires the submission of Employee Claim Form C-1 and a physician's report, if available. For most accidental injuries not ending in death, you have 60 days to file a claim. For an accident ending in death, your family has 18 months to file. For an occupational disease, you or your family have 2 years.
An Accepted Claim
Whether your claim is accepting after the initial filing or after a hearing, you are entitled to TTD (2/3 of your average weekly wages) while you are out of work per doctor's orders. You are also entitled to payment of your medical bills related to the claim and possibly a settlement once you reach MMI.
Common Terms Used in Maryland Workers' Compensation Cases
TTD - Temporary Total Disability. If you are unable to work because of your injury, you can receive TTD benefits. This is two-thirds of your average weekly wage.
TPD - Temporary Partial Disability. You may be entitled to TPD benefits during the process of recovery if you are not totally disabled. Under these circumstances, your additional compensation would equal 50% of the difference between your average weekly wage and your wage-earning capacity, while healing from things like a broken bone.
PPD - Permanent Partial Disability. Although your injuries may not prevent you from working again, a you could still experience a permanent impairment, such as diminished mobility. Once you reach MMI, you can apply for Permanent Partial Disability, which is paid out across a period that varies according to the body part injured and the severity of the injury.
PTD - Permanent Total Disability. Although rare, you would be classified as totally and permanently disabled if you completely lose the use of both arms, eyes, feet, hands, or legs, or any two of those body parts combined. The nature of such injuries must prevent you from maintaining employment going forward.
MMI - Maximum Medical Improvement. This term refers to your medical status when you require no further level of improvement in your condition, even with further medical treatment. Essentially, your medical condition has reached 'it is what it is'.
Occupational disease - A disease or injury you developed as the result of and in the course of your employment AND that disease causes you to become temporarily or permanently, partially or totally incapacitated.
Benefits - The amount of money awarded to you depends upon the severity of your injury. An accepted claim can cover medical expenses, partial payment of lost wages, and, a potential final settlement for your injuries. If you cannot to return to your job, you may receive vocational training and counseling for a new job.
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