In general, every Maryland company with one or more employee must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp is no-fault coverage that pays expenses incurred by employees who are hurt, become ill, or die on the job. This coverage includes:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Disability benefits
- Vocational re-training (in some cases)
- Death benefits
The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission (MWCC) sets different time limits for filing a workers’ comp claim, depending on the type of claim you’re filing: accidental injury, occupational disease, or death benefit.
Reporting: You have 10 days from the date of your accident to report your injury to your employer or the claims representative at your workplace. It’s always best to do so in writing and even include photos of your injury if possible; however, a verbal notice is also acceptable. If your accidental injury occurs in front of a supervisor or manager, that is considered acceptable notice.
If you’re incapacitated by your injury for more than 10 days, the MWCC might excuse your missing this deadline, but you should report your injury immediately if possible. If you delay, the insurance company could claim that you’re not hurt as seriously as you say you are.
Filing: You have 60 days to file your claim (form C-1) with the MWCC. This deadline might be waived if your delay was not detrimental to your employer or its insurer, but you should file as soon as possible. If you wait more than two years for any reason, you are barred from collecting benefits. The only exception would be a case in which the employer failed to notify the MWCC in a timely manner of your accidental injury report. In that case, the two-year statute of limitations would run from the time the employer did notify the MWCC.
Reporting: If you have an occupational disease that has developed over weeks, months, or years, you must report it to your employer or claims representative within one year of either:
- The time you first became aware of the disease
- The time you should reasonably have become aware of the disease
Filing: You should also file a form C-1 with the MWCC as soon as possible, although the statute of limitations is technically two years.
Injury: If a loved one has died as a result of an accidental work-related injury, you must give notice of the death to the employer within thirty days. You have 18 months to file a death benefit claim with the MWCC.
Disease: If the death was caused by an occupational disease, you have one year to give notice to the employer and two years to file a claim with the MWCC. Again, it’s always best to report and file as soon as possible. The forms required for death benefit claims are:
- C-35: Dependent’s Claim for Death Benefits
- C-18: Certification of Funeral Expenses
- C-19: Claim for Funeral Benefits Only
All claim forms can be found on the MWCC web site, where you may:
- Fill out an online form, print it, sign it, and mail it in
- Request a hard copy by mail, fill it out, sign it, and mail it in
In either case, you must submit the original form, not a photocopy. The MWCC does not accept claim forms via fax or email.
Re-opening a Claim
In some cases, a closed workers’ comp claim can be re-opened for:
- Additional compensation: If you are awarded temporary disability benefits and your disability later becomes permanent, you may apply to change or modify your previous award as long as you do so within five years after your accident (or disablement in the case of occupational diseases) or the date of your last benefit payment, whichever is later.
- Medical expenses: There is no time limitation for re-opening a claim for medical expenses. If you are awarded disability benefits for life, your employer is responsible for reasonable expenses related to your original injury/disease for as long as you live.
You’re much more likely to re-open your claim successfully with the help of a workers’ compensation attorney.
Have You Suffered a Work-Related Injury or Illness?
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can make sure you meet all deadlines and other procedural requirements for a successful claim. Please contact us online, start a chat, or call us to schedule a free consultation. We accept workers’ comp cases on a contingency-fee basis.