Maryland correctional officers share some of the same workers’ comp benefits that police officers are entitled to receive. These benefits are not available to the general public. One of the workers’ comp benefits that some correctional officers receive is the presumption of an occupational illness for high blood pressure.
Correctional officers diagnosed with heart disease or hypertension should consult a Maryland workers’ comp attorney with Pinder Plotkin. Our attorneys offer free case reviews so that you can get the facts about a high blood pressure workers’ comp claim.
Hypertension or High Blood Pressure and Correctional Officers in Maryland
Whether or not you are entitled to workers’ comp benefits for a diagnosis of high blood pressure or hypertension depends on where you work as a correctional officer. If you work as a correctional officer in Montgomery County, Anne Arundel County, or Prince George’s County, a diagnosis of high blood pressure is a presumed occupational illness.
What Does A Presumed Occupational Illness Mean For You?
If your high blood pressure is a presumed occupational illness, the commission assumes your job caused your high blood pressure. When a worker suffers an illness related to his or her employment, that worker is entitled to receive workers’ comp benefits. Therefore, if you are a correctional officer in one of the above three counties, you should be able to receive workers’ comp benefits when diagnosed with high blood pressure.
However, correctional officers are not entitled to some of the other workers’ comp benefits for high blood pressure that police officers and firefighters receive. For example, correctional officers are not automatically entitled to second-tier benefits for certain conditions. Also, there are additional conditions outlined in the workers’ comp laws for correctional officers seeking workers’ comp benefits for high blood pressure.
Requirements for High Blood Pressure Workers’ Comp Claims by Correctional Officers
Correctional officers who file a workers’ comp claim for high blood pressure are only entitled to the presumption of an occupational illness only to the extent that the person’s high blood pressure is more severe than it was before the individual began working as an employee of the correctional system. If the person’s high blood pressure has not worsened since becoming an employee, the employee does not benefit from the presumption of an occupational illness. That does not mean you cannot file a workers’ comp claim for high blood pressure. It only means that you will need to take extra steps to prove the high blood pressure is a result of your employment.
In addition, to qualify for the presumption, the statute states that the employee shall submit to a medical examination as a condition of employment. The purpose of the medical examination is to determine the existence of or the extent of high blood pressure before the person’s employment as a correctional officer.
How Do I File a Claim for Workers’ Comp if I Have High Blood Pressure?
If you are a correctional officer diagnosed with high blood pressure or your hypertension becomes worse, you need to notify your supervisor and file a workers’ comp claim. To protect your rights, you should file a claim with your employer and with the state Workers’ Compensation Commission. As stated above, you may be entitled to a presumption of an occupational disease if you work for a covered department and you meet the other qualifications.
However, you may still qualify for workers’ comp benefits even though you do not meet the requirements for a presumption. Most occupational illnesses are not afforded a presumption under the law. Therefore, do not let the fact that you may not be afforded a presumption for high blood pressure stop you from seeking legal advice from an experienced Maryland workers’ comp attorney for correctional officers.
Filing a workers’ comp claim for high blood pressure can result in one or more workers’ comp benefits. For example, you may receive your high blood pressure medication and medical care free of charge. If your high blood pressure results in a temporary or permanent disability, you may also receive other benefits, including compensation for loss of income. Your attorney can review all the potential benefits you may be entitled to receive during a free consultation.
Contact a Maryland Workers’ Comp Attorney for Correctional Officers for More Information
The Pinder Plotkin Legal Team represents correctional officers in Maryland who are seeking workers’ compensation for injuries and illnesses sustained in the course of their employment.
Contact our office at 410-661-9440 for your free consultation with a Parkville workers’ compensation lawyer.