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10 Keys To Understand Maryland Workers Compensation Law

Maryland’s workers' compensation laws apply when an employee suffers accidental personal injury or occupational disease arising out of and in the course of employment and applies as follows:

  1. Covered Injuries

The law only covers accidental personal injury or occupational diseases. An injury is accidental as long as it was unexpected or unintended while personal injury relates to physical or mental harm which must be documented through medical reports and related invoices. On the other hand, an occupational disease is an illness or disorder that is an expectable result of working under conditions naturally inherent in the employment (an example may be carpal tunnel syndrome, asbestosis, etc) and need not be accidental.

2. Employees Only A genuine employer-employee relationship must exist. However, independent contractors, sole-proprietors or partnership may elect to be covered and can obtain the necessary insurance.

3. Arising Out of Employment If the conditions under which the work is required to be performed by the employer causes the worker's injury, it is said to "arise out of" the employment. The focus of this factor is on the exposure of the employee to risk or danger because of the job requirements.

4. Arising in the Course of Employment This element is met if the injury occurred during the period of time when an employee was at work, at the employer's place of business or such other location as may have been designated by the employer, and while the employee was performing their job duties or something related to them when the injury took place.

5. Average Weekly Wage (AWW)

Compensation benefit is based on a percentage of the employee’s average weekly wage at the time of the injury determined by averaging out the 14 weeks of pay preceding the injury.

6. Temporary Total (TT) Disability Benefits

This is paid at two thirds of the claimants AWW up to a set maximum and is paid when the claimant cannot work at all for a temporary period. TT benefits end once the claimant returns to work or reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI) which means the condition is no longer temporary.

7. Temporary Partial (TP) Disability Benefits TP applies when the claimant can work but only part-time at best. The employer or its insurer pays the covered employee compensation that equals 50% of the difference between the average weekly wage of the covered employee and the wage earning capacity of the covered employee in the same or other employment while temporarily partially disabled, subject to a maximum payment of 50% of the State average weekly wage.

8. Permanent Total Disability Benefits This is awarded when a claimant is deemed to be virtually unemployable after a compensable accidental injury or occupational disease and payment of benefits is determined by applicable Maryland statute. The claimant needs to show that he or she has no existing transferable skills nor the potential for re-training which would bring the claimant to a level of employability within a reasonably stable job market.

9. Permanent Partial (PP) Disability Benefits PP occurs when the claimant has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) and has also sustained a disability which is permanent in nature but partial with respect to the claimant’s overall physical condition and employment capacity. In this situation, the Act provides for compensation amount.

10. Medical, Hospitalization & Wage Benefits In addition to the various types of disability benefits to which an injured worker may be entitled, if a covered employee has suffered an accidental injury, various medical related expenses and lost wages due to time spent being examined by a physician or other examiner at the request of the employer or its insurer can be recovered by the employee. If additional information is needed, contact us for further assistance.

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