EMPLOYEES THAT ARE INJURED
ON THE JOB AND SUBJECT TO MARYLAND WORKERS COMPENSATION LAWS END UP WAITING
FAR TOO LONG FOR LOST WAGES!
If you were injured and have not received a lost wage check in over a week consult a workers compensation attorney. Depending on the circumstances an injured worker may not get a check until they file for a hearing before the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission.
It is impossible to tell exactly when you will receive your check. Ultimately it is up to the workers comp adjuster to issue the check, and the only way to force him or her to issue the check is to request a hearing before the Workers Compensation Commission. With that said, adjusters may issue payment willingly at certain times of the case.
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- The adjuster may want the injured worker to file a claim form with the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission before she can issue a workers comp check.
- The adjuster will need a out of work note from a doctor before issuing payment.
- On occasion the adjuster will start issuing workers comp checks as soon as he or she is aware of the accident.
- Once a claim is filed with the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission a consideration date is issued. This consideration date is the date by which the insurance company must decide to challenge the claim or accept it as compensable. Some adjusters will issue the first payment once the consideration date has passed.
- If the consideration date has passed and workers comp check has not been issued it is at this point the injured worker may file for a hearing!
- The adjuster may want an Independent Medical Evaluation before she issues a workers comp check. Depending on the results of the IME she may issue payment or refuse to pay. In this scenario payment will most likely not be issued until after a hearing is held. Time to lawyer up!
Lost Wages check under Maryland Workers Comp?
When an employee is injured at work they are usually entitled to lost wages which are, in Maryland, called Temporary Total disability payments. In order to qualify for these compensation payments the employee must be covered under the law and meet certain requirements. (see discussion on meeting the requirements to receive temporary total disability benefits) The next logical question is When?
Many people budget themselves paycheck to paycheck and when they are taken out of work because of an injury this can lead to financial stress. The financial stress builds up as they wait for the temporary total disability (ttd) payments. Payment may be prolonged to a point where bills are piling up and late payments are being made.
When is my lost wage check coming from workers comp?
It is important to know that the workers compensation insurer can willingly pay you your lost wages as soon as they are notified of your accident. Often they are restricted from doing so until you file a Maryland workers compensation claim. The entire claim process may take a while however it can reasonable be expected that the claim form is filled out and delivered to the workers compensation commission within a day of the accident date. The absolute best case scenario is that the injured receives his lost wages check within a few days of the accident. This will likely not happen. There is no accurate answer as
to when the workers compensation claimant receives their lost wages as each case will differ. Note that ultimately the workers comp insurance adjuster has the authority to control your payments. There are a number of reasons the adjuster will provide as to delaying the payments:
Adjuster has not received an out of work note
First and foremost, it is very unusual for a workers compensation adjuster to pay temporary total disability benefits without first receiving an out of work note. The claimant’s number one concern is to obtain a work status note from the treating physician otherwise under Maryland workers comp laws they are not entitled to lost wages. If the physician is not willing to take the injured worker out of work then the injured worker is not entitled to TTD. Even if an attorney gets involved the chances of obtaining lost wages is substantially lower than if a physician is stating that the employee can not work.
A work note is provided but: Adjuster wants an Independent Medical Evaluation
If the dreaded IME rears its ugly head than it is important to obtain counsel immediately if no Maryland work comp attorney is involved at this point. IME’s are usually scheduled about a month to two months after the date of accident. If the adjuster has not started to pay lost wages then he or she will probably not start the lost wages until an IME report is received. An IME can delay TTD payments for months and for most this can be financially devastating. The most concerning part is that even after the IME is concluded there is no guarantee that the adjuster will pay lost wages willingly. These Independent Medical Evaluations are used by the workers compensation insurers to develop an argument for themselves to use against the Maryland injured worker. And often these IME’s provide an opinion that is different from the treating doctors opinion- the treating doctor states “out of work,” the IME doctor indicates “full duty.”
An Independent Medical Evaluation was performed but it states claimant can work full duty or light duty
Months after the accident the IME doctor issues his report and if it conflicts with the treating doctors recommendation than the delay in ttd payments will continue. If the circumstance arises where the IME doctor indicates full duty and the treating doctor indicates otherwise, in a great majority of these cases the adjuster will not issue a lost wages check. Using the issues form a hearing will need to be requested at the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission (WCC). (Hopefully at this point a claim has been filed with the WCC because if the claim has not been filed the case will once again be postponed for procedural failings.) Hearings are set in and docketed depending on the case load of the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission. At this time hearing are being set in about a month and a half after the issues form is filed however this is fairly quick for the Maryland WCC. It can be expected that a hearing will be scheduled anywhere from one to three months. That is the potential for an addition 90 days of waiting for lost wages! Deciding whether to return to work can be difficult and should not be made lightly.
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The hearing has been scheduled however the defense attorney needs to postpone or continued the workers compensation hearing
After a long and frustrating waiting period the injured workers day has come to seek payments for lost wages. Sometimes the day of the hearing has come, all parties are at the Maryland Workers Comp Commission and the defense attorney has some reason, compelling or not, to request a postponement of the hearing. Some “compelling” reasons for a postponement could be lack of medical records, pre-planned vacation, or a conflict with another hearing or trial. If the defense attorney is successful with his postponement request the hearing will be postponed to a later period most likely one to three months.
When can you expect temporary total disability payments or lost wages under your Baltimore workers comp claim
You will receive payment when the adjuster feels compelled to issue the check. Unfortunately the injured worker is truly at the mercy of the person on the other side of the phone and only after a hearing before the compensation commission will the adjuster be forced to issue a ttd check. With an experienced Maryland workers compensation attorney the chances of getting timely payments increases. It helps to have an attorney with a working relationship with adjusters and defense attorneys from Sedgwick, The Hartford, Chesapeake Employers Insurance, Injured Workers Insurance Fund, CNA, Corvel, Gallagher Bassatt, and the various other workers compensation carriers including the many county insurance companies.