Chapter 5: How Do I Get Paid For My Worker’s Compensation Claim?
Being out of work because of a work-related injury has several consequences. In addition to the physical injuries and emotional stress, you may also sustain a financial hardship because you are out of work without pay. Workers’ compensation insurance provides wage benefits for eligible claimants that helps replace some of the income lost because of a work injury. Even though workers’ compensation does not reimburse all lost wages, workers’ comp disability benefits can help mitigate the financial hardship caused by an injury on the job.
What Compensation Benefits Am I Entitled to Receive After a Work Injury?
The severity of your injuries determines the types of compensation benefits you may receive during your recovery and after you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). MMI is the point at which additional medical treatment is not expected to result in additional improvement of your medical condition.
During your recovery, you may be entitled to receive:
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits are paid during your recovery if you are unable to return to work because of your injuries. If you are out of work for more than three days, but less than 14 days, you can receive TTD benefits for your lost time except for the first three days of missed work. If you are out of work for more than 14 days, you can receive TTD benefits for the entire period you are out of work.
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits are paid to workers who can return to work, but who are unable to work full time or whose work duties are limited because of the injury. Employees receive 50 percent of the difference between their average weekly wages and the wages actually earned as TPD while they are recovering from a work-related injury. However, the maximum payment for TPD is limited to 50 percent of the state’s average weekly wage.
- Average Weekly Wages
An employee does not receive full compensation of all lost wages while he or she is out of work because of a work-related injury or illness. Your workers’ compensation benefits are based on your average weekly wage (AWW). The AWW is based on your income in the months before your injury. Your payment schedule determines the period used to calculate your AWW. Miscalculating the AWW can significantly reduce the amount of money you receive for your workers’ comp claim. A Maryland workers’ comp attorney can review the calculation to ensure you are receiving the maximum benefits for your workers’ comp claim.
After your recovery, you may be entitled to receive:
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits are paid when a worker sustains a permanent impairment because of an on-the-job illness or injury. Workers are entitled to receive a weekly benefit for a specific period set by state statutes based on the severity of the body part injured.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits
Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits are paid to workers who are permanently disabled after an injury on the job or because of an occupational illness. Examples of conditions that typically result in a PTD benefit include loss of vision, amputation, paralysis, severe back injuries, loss of cognitive abilities, and loss of use of a limb.
Serious Disability and Death Benefits
A worker may also be entitled to serious disability benefits if the injury or illness meets the requirements to be considered a “serious” disability. Family members are also entitled to certain death benefits when a family member dies because of a work-related injury or illness.
Miscalculation of Workers’ Compensation Disability Benefits
Current workers’ compensation rates and calculations are published on the Maryland WCC website. Even though compensation rates are set by the state and by the Workers’ Compensation Act, it is not uncommon for workers’ compensation insurance carriers or WCC commissioners to miscalculate the compensation a worker is entitled to receive for a workers’ comp claim. Errors may occur because of a mistake related to compensation before the injury or a lack of payment history, a dispute related to the severity of the injury, or a legal dispute.
To ensure you receive the maximum workers’ comp benefits you are entitled to receive, we encourage you to talk with a member of our legal team before settling a workers’ comp claim. For a free consultation, call 410-661-9440.
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