If you were injured at work and granted workers compensation, you may wonder about the duration of your benefits. You don’t need to worry about your medical care since Maryland’s workers compensation system will pay for all necessary and reasonable medical care resulting from your injury. However, if you can’t return to work for some time because of the extent of your injuries, you may be more concerned. If you can’t earn an income, you would want to know when your benefits will run out. These cases can be complicated so you may need to hire a Maryland workers comp attorney to ensure you’re treated fairly.
Your attorney will look into your case, quantify all the benefits to which you are entitled, and explain the details. In the meantime, you may want to know some of the basics about how long workers comp lasts.
Factors That Can Impact the Duration of Your Benefits
Each employee’s situation is different so there’s no way to say exactly how long you’ll be able to receive benefits. It depends on several factors including:
- The nature and severity of your injuries
- Whether you can return to your job
- Whether you return to work with restrictions
These factors help to determine whether your disability is temporary, permanent, partial or total. If a doctor determines that you are temporarily disabled, whether totally or partially, this means you’re expected to recover after you’ve received the necessary rehabilitation. You would qualify for temporary disability awards. If you are temporarily totally disabled, you would receive two-thirds of your average weekly salary until you return to work or reach maximum medical improvement.
Meanwhile, if you have a temporary partial disability, you may be able to work in a lesser paying role. If so, you would receive half of the difference between your wage pre-injury and post-injury. These benefits would continue until you can work normally again, or you reach maximum medical improvement.
If your injuries are severe, the doctor may diagnose you with a permanent disability. The length of time for which you will receive benefits depends on whether you have a total or partial disability. Permanent total disability results in two-thirds of your average salary and you may be able to collect benefits for the rest of your life.
If you’re only partially disabled, the duration of your benefits will depend on the part of the body that’s affected and how severely it’s affected. The Maryland Workers Compensation Commission has a schedule that lists the number of weeks assigned to the amputation or total loss of use of certain body parts. Vision and hearing loss are also included. If you lose an arm, you could get up to 300 weeks of benefits but if you lost your thumb, you may only get awarded for 100 weeks.
Since this aspect of workers compensation law can be complicated, you need to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to ensure you get all the benefits to which you’re entitled. If you can’t work for several months or you will never be able to work again, you need to make sure that you can still provide for yourself and your family.
Death Benefits Following a Workplace Injury
You may not want to think about the possibility that you could die as a result of an on-the-job injury or illness. However, you may find it helpful to know how your surviving dependents could benefit. If you provided 100 percent of your household’s income, your dependents would receive weekly benefits based on the temporary total disability rate. However, if you only contributed partially, the amount will be reduced in proportion. Death benefits are adjusted annually to reflect inflation.
These benefits generally run for 12 years. However, there are exceptions such as if your spouse remarries. Your children will also stop receiving benefits when they turn 18 or when they turn 23 if they are in school full-time.
Consult with Pinder Plotkin LLC About Your Benefits
We’ve discussed some general information about the duration of workers compensation benefits in Maryland. For specifics on your case, you should consult a Maryland workers comp attorney. At Pinder Plotkin LLC, we can help you to understand how the system works and help you get the full amount to which you’re entitled. Call us today to set up a consultation and get additional information on how we can help you.