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How Ratings in Workers’ Comp Cases Are Done

Published on Feb 1, 2013 at 2:11 pm in Workers Compensation.

Maryland was the first state to put into place workers’ compensation laws, passing such a law in the early 1900s. All Maryland employers are covered under workers’ compensation insurance or have insurance in place to satisfy such claims. Injured workers seeking workers’ compensation benefits have to show that the injury or illness is work-related. In most instances, if you were doing something for the benefit of your employer and you were injured or became ill as a result of that activity, then your injury or illness is work-related and you can receive benefits.

For allowed claims, benefits include medical treatment and expenses, disability payments and vocational rehabilitation.

Maryland has four types of disability benefits — temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent partial disability, permanent total disability:

  • A temporary total disability is one that prevents you from working, but only for a limited amount of time. Presently, under Maryland law, temporary total disability payments are calculated at two-thirds of your average weekly wage not to exceed 100 percent (100%) of the state average weekly wage or $965.
  • A temporary partial disability is one that prevents you from doing some of the duties of your job for a limited amount of time. Presently, under Maryland law, temporary partial disability payments are calculated at 50 percent (50%) of the difference between your average weekly wage and your wage earning capacity thereafter, not to exceed 50 percent (50%) of your state average weekly wage or $483.
  • A permanent total disability is one that means you will never return to work. Presently, under Maryland law, permanent total disability is compensated at two-thirds of your average weekly wage not to exceed 100 percent (100%) of the state average weekly wage or $965.

• A permanent partial disability occurs when the damage is permanent, but it only partially impairs your ability to work. Once you have reached maximum medical improvement — when you have recovered as much as you can from the injury or illness — you can file for and receive these benefits. At the hearing to determine the percentage of permanent partial disability due, both attorneys will present evidence to the commissioner. The claimant’s rating is almost always higher than the insurer’s rating. Often, a compromise of a rating midway between the two is achieved. In addition, Maryland law sets forth a tiered recovery scheme based on this rating and your average weekly wage. For example, for permanent partial disability awards for a period of less than 75 weeks for events occurring on or after January 1, 2012 but before January 1, 2013, compensation is to be paid at the rate of 33 1/3 percent of the employee’s average weekly wage, not to exceed 16.7% of the state average weekly wage or $162. However, for awards for a period equal to or greater than 75 weeks, but less than 250 weeks, for events occurring on or after January 1, 2012 but before January 1, 2013, the compensation is to be paid at two-thirds of your average weekly wage not to exceed one-third of the state average weekly wage or $322.

As you can see, workers’ compensation claims are complicated. Workers who proceed without a lawyer could find themselves at a disadvantage. Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz has been handling workers’ compensation cases for years. Call us at 410-234-0100 or email us for a free consultation.

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