In most states, people who are hurt on the job are entitled to collect workers comp benefits for a set period. For example, in Florida, you can only collect workers compensation benefits for 104 weeks, or 2 years. In Georgia, however, you can collect benefits for as many as 400 weeks, which happens to be just shy of 8 years. Maryland is a lot different from these other states. In Maryland, your Baltimore workers comp lawyer must prove two things in order for you to collect benefits. First, they must show that you meet the criteria for workers’ compensation. Second, they must prove how serious your injuries are. This is what will determine how long you can collect benefits. What this means is that workers compensation cases in Maryland are a lot more complicated than they are in other states. For example, if your injury is determined to be minor, you will collect workers comp benefits for no more than 75 weeks. Furthermore, your weekly benefit rate is much lower than normal. You will only receive 1/3 of your average weekly wage and the weekly benefit cap is only $224. The more serious your injuries, the higher your benefit rate. The problem is that your Baltimore injury lawyer will have to prove that you meet the threshold for a more serious injury. We recommend that you call our office and speak with one of our Baltimore workers comp lawyers. We offer new clients a free, initial consultation to give them a chance to sit down with a seasoned lawyer for free. We’ll review your claim and determine if it has merit. If it does, we will be able to help you. However, if we don’t feel your claim has merit, we would be upfront and tell you. Too many Baltimore injury lawyers promise to get their clients benefits only to find out later on that they aren’t entitled to them. We don’t like to get anybody’s hopes up unfairly.
How Long Can You Normally Collect Workers Comp Benefits in Maryland?As mentioned above, Maryland is unique when it comes to workers comp benefits. Thankfully, our Baltimore workers comp lawyers are very familiar with the state’s workers compensation rules. When the legislature in Maryland implemented the workers compensation program, they clearly wanted to distinguish serious injuries from minor ones. One reason for this is that people who only qualify for up to 75 weeks of benefits will be eager to get back to work. Nobody can survive on $224 per week. People will return to work as soon as they can just so they can get their normal wages again. For people who have legitimate, serious injuries, on the other hand, are entitled for what could end up being lifelong workers comp benefits. If you’re awarded more than 250 weeks of workers comp benefits, you must have suffered a very serious injury. For example, if you suffered blindness due to a chemical explosion, for example, you may be entitled to benefits under this highest tier.
There are a Few Ways Your Benefits Can StopTypically, if you’re out on workers compensation, your benefits won’t stop until you’re ready to go back to work. However, our Baltimore injury lawyers have handled cases where our client’s workers comp benefits ended early. There are several reasons why this could happen including:
- Your employer learns new information that, had they had it at the time you filed your claim, would’ve have warranted a denial
- You are caught working a second job without reporting it
- You refuse to participate in your medical treatment
- You refuse to return to work or refuse a light-duty position