The vast majority of employers in Maryland are required by law to maintain workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees, including those who work both part-time and full-time. For injured workers, these benefits provide a crucial financial lifeline during a period of their lives that is otherwise marked by struggle.
The importance of workers’ compensation benefits cannot be understated. When you are injured and unable to work, your financial security may begin to rapidly deteriorate. At Belsky & Horowitz, LLC, we believe that it is the right of every individual to have a working understanding of what benefits they are entitled to and how they will be paid.
This includes having an understanding of when it is possible to get back pay for workers’ comp.
As personal injury lawyers representing those who have been injured in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, Greenbelt, Hagerstown, Rockville, and the surrounding areas, we are pleased to offer no-cost, no-obligation consultations. To learn more about your rights to workers’ compensation and back pay after an on-the-job injury, please contact our law office to claim your free case evaluation.
What Is Back Pay in a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
In workers’ compensation, back pay refers to compensation intended to cover lost wages from the first few days of your injury. Not every workers’ compensation claim or workplace injury qualifies for back pay, though.
When Am I Entitled to Income Replacement Benefits?
To be eligible for income replacement benefits through Maryland’s workers’ compensation system:
- You must have suffered an accidental injury while on the job,
- The injury must have arisen out of the course of your employment, and
- You must have missed at least three days of work.
Once your injury has prevented you from attending work for a period of at least three days, you will be eligible for income replacement benefits for the subsequent days that you miss. You will not be eligible for wage replacement benefits for those initial three days until you miss 14 or more days of work.
If your employer has already compensated you for the initial three days of work that you missed, you will be ineligible for back pay of your income replacement benefits.
What Are Income Replacement Benefits?
Income replacement benefits may be referred to as either permanent (PTD) or temporary total disability (TTD), or permanent (PPD) or temporary partial disability (TPD).
TTD and PTD are paid at the rate of two-thirds of your average weekly wage prior to your injury and are available to those who cannot work at all during the course of their recovery. This compensation cannot exceed $1,402 per week, the average weekly wage for the state of Maryland.
If you can work in a limited capacity or for fewer hours as you recover, you may qualify for TPD or PPD. TPD benefits are 50% of the difference between your average weekly wage prior to your injury and your current earning capacity. Compensation for PPD will vary based on the period of time you are expected to receive benefits but may range from maximum awards of $114 to $467 per week.
Knowing what type of benefits you qualify for is crucial in terms of back pay. While three days’ worth of pay may not seem like much now, the reality is that every penny counts when you are dealing with things like medical bills, lost wages, a reduced earning capacity, and other financial losses associated with a workplace injury.
What Benefits Am I Eligible For?
Depending on the type, severity, and extent of your injury or illness, workers’ compensation benefits may include:
- Income replacement benefits
- Temporary partial disability
- Temporary total disability
- Permanent partial disability
- Permanent total disability
- Medical expenses related to your injuries
- Vocational rehabilitation
Your workers’ compensation attorney can advise you of the exact benefits for which you are eligible.
Can I Be Denied Back Pay for My Workers’ Comp Benefits?
You may be denied back pay if your employer already paid you for the initial three days of missed work after your accident, injury, or onset of illness.
Back pay for the first three days of missed work can also be denied if:
- Your employer or their insurer have objections to your workers’ comp claim
- You missed fewer than 14 days of work
- A doctor has cleared you to return to work (even if you are unable to)
What Happens if My Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Denied?
An initial denial of your workers’ compensation claim or request for back pay of income replacement benefits is not the end of the road. Whether you received a notice of dispute that your employer or their insurer is disputing your claim or your initial complaint was recently denied, you have the right to appeal any denial of benefits with the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission.
The appeals process gives injured workers the opportunity to have their case reconsidered, with the ultimate goal of securing the benefits to which they are rightfully entitled.
How Does a Lawyer Help?
If you were denied back pay for your income replacement benefits or received a notice of dispute regarding your claim, a workers’ compensation attorney can:
- Ensure you complete and submit all required documents by specific timelines
- Help you craft a strong and persuasive narrative
- Represent you in court if necessary
Securing the services of a workers’ compensation attorney shows your employer and their insurer that you mean business. You know that you are entitled to benefits for your injury or illness, and you aren’t willing to accept anything less.
Belsky & Horowitz, LLC Fights for Injured Workers
Employers and workers’ compensation insurance providers dispute claims for the same reason—to save money. You should not have to shoulder the financial burden of your injury just so others can boost and preserve their profits.
At Belsky & Horowitz, LLC, we fight the big insurance companies on behalf of those who have suffered serious on-the-job injuries or illnesses. Don’t miss out on your right to compensation after a work injury, contact us today to schedule your free consultation.