The state of Maryland has one of the most complicated workers compensation systems in the country. Most states have laws that clearly spell out exactly how many weeks you can receive workers comp benefits for. They also make it abundantly clear what the maximum is you can receive every week. Maryland works a little differently. Unless you’re an employment lawyer in Baltimore, Maryland, it can be a nightmare to try to figure this system out all by yourself.
The reason Maryland’s workers compensation system is so confusing is that it operates on a 3- tiered system. This means that, in order to determine how much you’ll receive in benefits every week, your personal injury lawyer in Maryland must determine which tier your injury falls into. Your respective tier will also determine how long you’re able to collect workers comp benefits for.
Here, we will do our best to explain how the workers compensation system in Maryland works. We will also explain what you need to do to qualify for workers comp benefits in the first place. Finally, we will discuss the various ways in which your workers comp benefits can be terminated. If you have questions about your own workers comp case, contact our office so you can speak with an employment lawyer in Baltimore, Maryland right away.
You Must First Qualify for Workers Compensation
In order to receive any benefits, you must first qualify for workers compensation. In Maryland, the requirements for workers comp are similar to those in most other states.
Obviously, any injury you suffer must occur on company time. In most cases, it must also happen on company property. Of course, if you work remotely or on the road, there are other ways to demonstrate that you have a qualifying injury. And this is something that your employment lawyer in Baltimore, Maryland can do for you.
The requirements for workers comp benefits in the state of Maryland are as follows:
- As stated above, your workplace accident must occur while you were on the clock. If you are a salaried employee, then the accident must take place while you’re acting within the scope of your employment.
- Usually, your accident must take place on company property.
- You must report your injuries immediately to your manager or your company’s human resources director.
- You must submit to a drug test as per company policy.
- You cannot be under the influence of any drugs or alcohol at the time of your workplace accident.
- You must agree to be treated by a state- approved workers compensation physician.
- You are not allowed to work for any other employer while you are collecting workers comp benefits.
- You must participate with your doctor’s treatment plan.
As long as you meet these criteria, your workers compensation claim should be approved. If it is approved, you’ll start to receive your workers comp benefits in approximately 2 weeks. All workers must miss at least seven days to qualify for benefits. These workers comp benefits usually will be payable after your 14th day of being absent.
You’ll Receive 2 Main Types of Workers Comp Benefits
While you’re under workers compensation, you will be entitled to two main types of benefits. The first type of benefit that you’ll be entitled to is medical care. Your employer’s workers compensation insurance carrier will pay for any medical care you need that is related to your workplace accident. This includes such things as hospitalization, emergency room visits, ambulance rides, and prescription medications.
The second major type of benefit that you’ll receive under workers comp are weekly replacement wages. Stated briefly above, in Maryland, the amount and duration of these weekly workers comp benefits will depend on which tier your injury falls under.
Maryland Has a Very Unique Tier System for Weekly Benefit Rates
Maryland has a three-tiered workers compensation system. Depending on which tier you fall under, you will receive a certain amount of workers comp benefits for a certain period of time. A simple breakdown is as follows:
- Tier 1-This includes people whose injuries only require them to be out of work for less than 75 weeks. This involves very minor injuries that typically allow an employee to work either part-time or in a light duty position. Employees falling under this tier are eligible to receive 1/3 of their average weekly wages. The maximum amount you can receive in any given week is $224.
- Tier 2 – People who fall under this tier are entitled to receive 2/3 of their average weekly wages. The most you can receive if you fall into this tier is $446 per week. Anybody categorized in Tier 2 will receive benefits for anywhere from 75 to 249 weeks.
- Tier 3-People who fall into this tier have suffered very serious injuries. The expectation is that they will miss more than 250 weeks of work. In fact, most people who fall into tier 3 have suffered partially or totally disabling injuries. If you fall into this tear, you’re entitled to receive 75% of your average weekly wages. The most you can collect in any given week is $1,004.
Determining which tier you fall under can be extremely difficult. This is why it’s better to speak with an employment lawyer in Baltimore, Maryland before you even file your claim. You may have suffered an injury that your employer believes falls into Tier 1, but your attorney believes falls into tier two. If this is the case, your personal injury lawyer in Maryland can always file an appeal on your behalf.
Meet with an Experienced Employment Lawyer in Baltimore, Maryland
If you have recently been injured in a workplace accident, you’re more than likely entitled to workers comp benefits. As explained here, the workers compensation system in Maryland can be confusing, especially for first timers.
Most of our clients aren’t even sure if they qualify for workers comp benefits, let alone how long they can collect them. This is why we recommend that you sit down with a personal injury lawyer in Maryland so they can review your case. They’ll give you a better understanding of how your claim will proceed and explain what type of workers comp benefits you’ll receive.
We suggest that you contact our office today and schedule your free, initial consultation with an employment lawyer in Baltimore, Maryland. We don’t charge our clients for this initial consultation. We also don’t collect our fee until we settle or resolve your case. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to reach out to us as soon as possible. This way, we can make sure that your claim is filed properly and handled properly from the start.