Chapter 11: Workers’ Comp Claims With Uninsured Employers
Most employers in Maryland that are required to have workers’ compensation insurance obey the law. However, some employers choose to break the law by failing to purchase workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees. Employers may not be covered by workers’ comp insurance for a variety of reasons. The insurance policy may have lapsed, and the employer did not renew the policy. In some cases, an employer attempts to save money by not purchasing coverage. In a few cases, an employer may not be aware that it is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
If an employer fails to provide workers’ compensation insurance, the employer is subject to an assessment. In addition, the employer may be required to pay a percentage of the award paid by the Maryland Uninsured Employers Fund to the claimant. Employers who fail to pay the assessment may have a lien placed on the company assets. In some cases, the state can place a lien against an officer of the company who was responsible for managing the company.
What is the Maryland Uninsured Employers Fund?
The Uninsured Employers Fund (UEF) pays workers’ compensation claims to injured employees when an employer did not have workers’ compensation insurance coverage as required by law. The UEF performs the function of an employer’s workers’ comp carrier. For valid claims, the UEF pays medical expenses, disability benefits, and other benefits as allowed by the Workers’ Compensation Act.
The state created the UEF because it is important to ensure that injured workers have access to benefits even though an employer breaks the law by failing to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Getting Help with a UEF Claim
Even though the UEF pays benefits for valid workers’ comp claims, you must go through extra steps to receive benefits. It can also take longer to receive benefits through the UEF. Your claim is filed with the WCC with the UEF as a party. Employers have 21 days to respond to an inquiry for information regarding insurance coverage.
After the deadline for responding expires, the WCC schedules a hearing. At the hearing, you must establish all the factors required to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, which can be challenging if an employer refuses to cooperate. After the WCC issues an award for benefits, the employer has 30 days to respond and/or pay the benefits. If the employer objects, the receipt of workers’ comp benefits is delayed again.
Working with a member of the Pinder Plotkin legal team can help ensure that all steps are taken to push a UEF claim through the system as quickly as possible. Our attorneys are familiar with the UEF process. Let us take care of the paperwork to avoid mistakes that could prolong the process even longer.
For a free consultation, call 410-661-9440 to speak with a knowledgeable and understanding representative.
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