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How does workers' compensation function in Maryland?

Maryland's workers' compensation system functions as a state-subsidized insurance program that all employers are required by law to have for their employees. If a Maryland company has one or more workers -- regardless if the worker is full or part-time -- the employer must provide this insurance benefit to the employee(s). There are very few exceptions to this rule, and neither employee nor employer can waive this provision.

Benefits provided by workers' compensation insurance go into effect in the event that an employee is injured on the job. The injury has to have occurred "out of and in the course of employment. In other words, if the employee was not technically working at the time of the accident, he or she may not be covered by workers' compensation insurance under the law. If the injury is covered, however, workers will receive money to pay for hospital and medical bills, in addition to partial income replacement if unable to return to work for a temporary or permanent period of time.

Workers' compensation insurance fees are paid by employers on behalf of their employees. Payroll deductions to cover these costs are unlawful.

It is important for Maryland residents to remember that even though they are covered by workers' compensation insurance, it does not mean that they will always be awarded benefits. In some cases, insurers try to get away with not paying workers the just benefits they are owed. As such, it may be necessary to pursue a legal action to secure deserved insurance benefits in a particular worker injury case.

Source: wcc.state.md.us, "Questions and answers for employees," accessed June 19, 2015

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