Maryland requires all businesses to have workers comp for employees, with only a few exceptions.
Workers compensation insurance can pay a portion of lost income and covers medical bills for an employee who's injured while performing a work-related task. The types of injuries usually covered by workers comp include carpal tunnel, broken bones and muscle injuries.
Maryland workers compensation law define many details of who must be covered, who can be exempt from coverage, and the limits of workers comp payments. Below are many of the specifics contained in the workers comp law in Maryland. The Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission also has a page with helpful information for employers.
Who has to be covered by Maryland workers compensation?
Can any employees opt out of Maryland workers compensation with a waiver?
Yes - a corporate officer is exempt f he or she is 1) an officer of a close corporation; 2) an officer of a corporation that earns at least 75% of income from farming and owns at least 20% of outstanding capital stock; 3) an officer of a profession corporation, owns at least 20%, and performs a professional service for the corporation; 4) or a member of an LLC and owns at least 20% of the outstanding interests in profits of the LLC.
Sole proprietors may elect to be covered.
Is self-insurance for workers comp allowed in Maryland?
Yes, for individual employers, groups of employers and political subdivisions. Political subdivisions in Maryland are typically the state or a city, county, special district, school district or public agency.
By self-insuring, a business assumes responsibility for paying their own workers comp claims. A self-insured company typically hires a claims service company to handle claims administration and other services.
Are there exclusions for:
Small employers? No.
Agricultural employers? Yes, if an employer has fewer than three employees; if an employer pays less than a certain amount in wages ($15,000/year); if the individual receives compensation from a farmer for only office work.
Domestic employers? Yes,if a worker earns less than a certain amount of money ($1,000/quarter).
Independent contractors? Yes.
Casual employees? Yes.
Professional athletes? No.
Maryland workers comp medical benefits
Is there a Maryland workers comp fee schedule?
Fee schedules define payments for surgery, radiology, hospital services, chiropractic care, ambulance service, prescription drugs and other medical services for an injured worker.
Are there limits on medical treatment?
Yes, reasonable and necessary.
Who makes the initial choice of treating physician?
Disability payments for workers compensation insurance in Maryland
Workers comp generally pays a portion of an employee's lost income if they can't work due to a job-related injury. Based upon both temporary and permanent disability, Maryland state laws define the limits on the amounts and length of disability payments.
How are temporary total disability (TTD) payments calculated?
66 2/3% of the employee's pre-injury weekly wage, subject to a minimum and maximum.
Weekly minimum: $50 of the employee's average weekly wage.
Weekly maximum: $1,027
Maximum length of TDD benefits: For the duration of the temporary or total disability.
How are permanent total disability (PTD) payments calculated?
66 ⅔% of the employee's average weekly wage, subject to a minimum and maximum.
Weekly minimum: $25 of the employee's average weekly wage.
Weekly maximum: $1,027
Are there cost of living increases for PTD payments? Yes.
Maximum length of PTD benefits: No maximum.
How are permanent partial disability (PPD) payments calculated?
Awards between 75 and 250 weeks are paid at ⅔ of the employee's average weekly wage (AWW), not to exceed ⅓ of the state's average weekly wage (SAWW). Awards for more than 250 weeks are paid at ⅔ of the employee's AWW, not to exceed 75% of the SAWW. 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, 2016 but before January 1, 2017, the compensation is to be paid at ⅔ of the employee's AWW not to exceed ⅓ of the SAWW or $343
Weekly minimum: $50 or the AWW of the covered employee, if the AWW is less than $50.
Weekly maximum: $771
Fatality benefits under Maryland workers compensation law
Maximum burial benefit: $7,000
Dependency benefits, weekly minimum: $25 or the average weekly wage of the worker, whichever is less.
Dependency benefits, weekly maximum: $1,027
When do children's dependency benefits end? At age 18; age 23 if the child is a student; benefits can continue if child is disabled.
Other injuries covered by Maryland workers compensation
Mental stress with no physical injury? Yes (though it is covered under very limited circumstances).
Cumulative trauma (such as injuries caused by repeated exposure or repetitive motion)? Yes.
Occupational hearing loss? Yes.
Source: Workers Compensation Research Institute, May 2016 report