Correctional officers are also entitled to a presumption of law related to certain health conditions, and as of October 1, 2018, are now considered “Public Safety” pursuant to Maryland’s Workers’ Compensation benefits. This provides the enhanced benefits previously only provided to police officers, firefighters and EMTs.
Limited Presumption for Heart Disease and Hypertension
Correctional officers have a limited presumption of law for heart disease and hypertension (high blood pressure). The correctional officer must be employed by Montgomery County, Anne Arundel County, or Prince George’s County to qualify for the presumption of an occupational illness.
In addition, a correctional officer in one of these counties is only presumed to have an occupational illness for heart disease or hypertension if they meet all the following criteria:
- The correctional officer is diagnosed with heart disease or hypertension;
- The condition causes a partial or total disability;
- The condition is more severe now than it was before the individual became employed with the department or agency; and,
- The officer submitted to a medical examination as a condition of his or her employment to determine the extent of the heart disease or hypertension before employment.
Only if all four of the above criteria are met will the Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) allow the presumption of an occupational disease for high blood pressure or heart disease.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Even though you may meet all four criteria, a presumption of law is not a guarantee that you will receive workers’ compensation benefits. It simply places the burden of proving that your heart disease or high blood pressure is not an occupational illness on the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. You may still face an uphill battle to receive workers’ comp benefits if you are unable to work because of your health condition.
An experienced Pinder Plotkin workers’ compensation attorney can help you file your claim and fight for the workers’ comp benefits you deserve. Call 410-525-5337 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team.