Workers’ compensation is a complex area of the law. As workers’ compensation attorneys in Maryland, we at Belsky & Horowitz, LLC know that cases can easily become very complicated. It’s not uncommon for workers to miss out on some of the benefits they are entitled to under the law—simply because they were not aware of the benefits or the process of claiming them. In other situations, an employer may make the process even more difficult for an injured employee. One of the jobs of a workers’ compensation lawyer is to protect the employee if this happens.
There are many factors that can complicate a work-related injury, especially if you are not able to return to your job immediately or at all. Because you must rely on your workers’ compensation benefits during the time you are not earning wages, knowing what benefits you can receive is important. Employees are right to ask: Do you accrue vacation time during workers’ comp? Do you accrue PTO while out on workers’ comp? Many workers also wonder if you need to use your vacation time or PTO for workers’ compensation. We’ll discuss this further in the following text.
Because each case is different, the specifics of a workers’ compensation claim can be challenging. It’s always best to speak with a Maryland workers’ compensation attorney who can understand the details of your situation and explain the best way to proceed. In this article, we will look at how workers’ compensation works and the length of time you may be out after an injury. Additionally, we will look at situations in which some workers may use their vacation days or PTO while out after a workplace accident.
Please reach out with further questions about your specific situation. A workers’ compensation attorney at Belsky & Horowitz, LLC is always available to answer your questions and make sure you are protected after a workplace injury.
How Long Will I Be Out of Work After an Injury?
There is no pre-determined length of time that an employee will be out on workers’ comp. This will depend on your medical diagnosis and other factors after the injury. Workers’ compensation in the state of Maryland is handled by the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC). In order to be eligible for workers’ compensation after an injury, you must be sure that your injury arose “out of and in the course of employment.” Your injury must be reported to your employer within 10 days of the incident. Or if a family member dies from work-related injuries, the surviving family members have 30 days to report it.
In Maryland, employers are legally required to have workers’ compensation insurance. If you learn that your employer does not have the mandatory insurance, be sure to speak with your lawyer immediately. Injured workers may be eligible to receive medical benefits and wage replacement through workers’ compensation if they meet the legal requirements. In the state of Maryland, it must be shown that you are an employee of the employer, that you suffered a work-related injury or illness, that you met the deadlines for reporting the injury and filing the claim, and that your employer has workers’ compensation insurance.
Every workplace accident situation is different, and there are multiple factors that go into the amount of time you can receive workers’ compensation benefits. Factors like the severity and nature of your injuries are what your physician will consider in deciding how long you should remain out of work. In some cases you may never be able to return to your former job, in that event vocational rehabilitation may be necessary.
For those eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, compensation may cover medical bills, reimbursement for mileage incurred while travelling for medical treatment and partial income replacement benefits. Benefits are categorized as Temporary Total or Temporary Partial Disability, and each of these categories as Total or Partial. Additionally , you may be entitled to a settlement of your workers’ compensation case, once you have finished all of your medical treatment.
Our lawyers at Belsky & Horowitz, LLC can help you better understand which category of benefits applies to your situation and what benefits you are eligible to receive. If you have a broken bone, sprain, or other injury that your doctor has advised should heal within a relatively short amount of time, you will most likely fall under the category of Temporary Disability Benefits, often TTD.
Temporary total disability benefits are provided during the period of time that you are recovering from your injuries and cannot work During this time, under workers’ compensation, you can generally receive two-thirds (2/3) of your average weekly wage. For injured workers receiving Temporary Disability Benefits, it’s important to note that you will not receive benefits until you have missed three days of work. If you miss 14 or more days of work, you are then eligible to receive benefits for the first three days.
Once you return to work you may be eligible for Permanent Partial Disability Benefits. Permanent Partial disability includes a permanent condition that continues to present symptoms, but does not fully prevent you from working. This could include loss of hearing or disfigurement. Total disability is a permanent condition that affects your ability to ever perform your job in the future. Our lawyers will be able to work with you to make sure you are appropriately compensated depending on the type of injury you sustained.
Using Vacation Days While on Workers’ Compensation
After discussing the process of claiming and receiving workers’ compensation benefits, it’s easy to understand why some people may feel the need to use their vacation days or PTO to cover the time during which they are not receiving wages. This could include the three days after an injury that does not keep you out of work for 14 days, during the time the workers’ compensation claim is being processed, or during the appeals process if a claim is denied. Your employer may even encourage you to use your vacation days to cover time off work after an injury on the job.
There could be situations in which using your vacation days is a good way to temporarily manage the financial stress of being out of work immediately following an injury. However, it is never a long-term solution. And employers should never see vacation days or PTO as a way to cover their injured employers. If you used vacation days to cover your days off while recovering from an injury, you may be eligible to have those days reimbursed, depending on the circumstances. Be sure to keep your lawyer informed of every detail of your case, including whether or not you have used any vacation or PTO days after your injury.
How a Lawyer from Belsky & Horowitz, LLC Can Help
Employees who are injured at work depend on workers’ compensation benefits to provide the financial help they need after a workplace accident. Injured workers need an attorney who can anticipate potential complications during a workers’ compensation case to make sure nothing arises to prevent benefits from being appropriately given. We understand the laws designed to protect those hurt on the job, and we also understand the loopholes that employers sometimes use to deny or reduce benefits for injured workers.
Our team of attorneys at Belsky & Horowitz, LLC successfully handles the difficult cases. We offer free consultations to discuss your case. We are available for consultations in Baltimore, Maryland and the surrounding areas.