Please note that the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Workers Compensation Programs OWCP administers four major programs including: the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program, the Federal Employees Compensation Program, the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Program and the Black Lung Benefits Program. The OWCP provides wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits to federal workers or their dependents who are injured at work or acquire an occupational disease,
Go to their web site for information if your are covered under these programs. CLICK HERE http://www.dol.gov/owcp
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program established by State law that all employers having one or more employees, full or part-time, are required to have for the benefit of their employees. With few exceptions, every employer in the State of Maryland with one or more employees is required by law to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. An employer or employee cannot waive provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Law.
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’ in the words of the law. Not all workplace injuries are compensable. If your injury is determined to be covered then the employer or the employer’s insurance carrier will provide medical and hospital treatment and partial income replacement benefits until you can return to work or until you reach maximum medical improvement.
The cost of workers’ compensation insurance itself is borne entirely by the employer. No payroll deductions are taken out of individual employees’ paychecks. If your claim is found to be compensable your weekly benefits and all medical bills will be paid directly by your employer or their insurer. DO NOT send bills to the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
What information is the employer required to provide with respect to worker’s compensation?
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 employers full legal name, address, the Employer’s Federal Identification Number (FEIN) and the name of the insurance company providing this insurance. This information is needed when filling out a claim form.
When should I report the accident?
You should report any accident to your employer immediately. 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 of the necessary information you may need. Forms are provided without charge.
You can also submit your claim form online; print, sign and mail the form to the Commission.
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 entitled to income replacement benefits if you miss more than three (3) days from work. If you miss more than 14 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 (in the mail) a claim number and a ‘consideration date’ is assigned to it. The consideration date means that we allow your employer or his insurer until that date to raise any objections they may have to your claim.
What if there are objections?
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/insurer, it will be scheduled for a hearing before a Commissioner. You will be notified by mail.
How much are the income replacement benefits?
These benefits are called ‘Temporary Total Disability Payments’ and you should receive two thirds of your average weekly wage, but not more than the State’s average weekly wage for the year in which the accident occurred.
How long will I receive these 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 is Vocational Rehabilitation?
Vocational Rehabilitation is a process whereby a worker who cannot return to his former job as a result of an injury on the job is assisted in re-entering the workforce. A specialist in vocational rehabilitation provides services to the injured worker to enable them to return to work. Services may include testing, job placement, vocational counseling, on the job training and retraining.
You may be a candidate for vocational rehabilitation if your injury is severe enough to keep you from returning to the occupation you held at the time of the injury. Your doctor may recommend that you find another occupation. You should be medically unable to continue with or return to your former job.
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 their 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 a decision of the Commission may file an appeal with the Circuit Court. More information claim process diagram are located on the Benefits page.
Do I have to have a lawyer?
You may have an attorney of your choice to represent you, or you may represent yourself. The Commission itself does not represent you nor can any Commissioner be your attorney.
Who pays the attorney?
Do not pay money to anyone to assist you with your claim. If you hire 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.
What if I want to hire a lawyer but don’t know one?
If you are a resident of Maryland, you may call the Lawyer Referral and Information Service at (410) 539- 3112 in Baltimore. You may also check your local telephone directory (Yellow Pages) for the number of a local lawyer referral service or the Maryland State Bar Association at: http://www.msba.org .
All necessary forms are supplied by the Workers’ Compensation Commission at no charge. Please provide form name, quantity and mailing information when ordering WCC materials from any of the sources below:
State of Maryland
Workers’ Compensation Commission
10 East Baltimore Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202-1641