Workers’ Compensation Terms to Know When Filing a Claim for Benefits
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides benefits to employees who are injured while performing their job duties. However, filing a claim for benefits can be a complicated process full of confusing terms.
If you are considering filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, our attorneys at Berman | Sobin | Gross LLP can help. Our Baltimore workers’ compensation attorneys help injured workers navigate the claims process and fight for the benefits they deserve.
Workers’ Compensation Terms to Know
To help you navigate the workers’ compensation claims process, we have compiled a list of terms you are likely to encounter when filing your claim for benefits:
- Benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits can cover various expenses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs. It is essential to understand the types of benefits available to you.
- Maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is the point in your post-injury treatment at which your condition has stabilized, and no further medical treatment can significantly improve your health. After reaching MMI, your worker’ compensation benefits may change.
- Temporary total disability. Temporary total disability benefits are payments for an injury that totally disables the employee from work for a temporary period. During that time, you should receive two thirds of your average weekly wage, but not more than the State’s average weekly wage for the year in which the accident occurred.
- Permanent disability. If you have a permanent work-related injury that limits your ability to perform your job duties, you may be eligible for permanent disability benefits based on the type and extent of your permanent disability. Injuries that result in permanent impairment, but do not rend the employee totally and permanently disabled, may qualify the injured worker for permanent partial disability benefits. Benefits for workers who have been totally and permanently disabled may continue indefinitely. Medical evaluations are required to establish the nature and extent of any permanent impairment.
- Vocational rehabilitation. If your injury prevents you from returning to your previous job, you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation. This program helps injured workers obtain new skills and find a job that suits their abilities and limitations. According to the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission, this training may last up to 24 months.
- Work restrictions. After an injury, your doctor may give you a list of work restrictions. These limitations may include the types of tasks you can perform, how much weight you can lift, or how long you can stand. It is essential to comply with these restrictions to avoid worsening your injury.
- Alternative work. If your employer cannot accommodate your work restrictions, they may offer you alternative work that fits within your limitations. If you refuse this work, it may impact your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Occupational Diseases (OD). Occupational disease claims occur over time due to repetitive motions or exposure to certain hazards in the workplace. These injuries can be challenging to prove, and it is recommended that you seek legal advice if you believe you have a OD
- Settlement. A settlement is a legal agreement between you and your employer’s insurance company that resolves your workers’ compensation claim. It is essential to have an attorney review any settlement offer before accepting it.
- Denied claim. Unfortunately, not all workers’ compensation claims are approved. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. It is crucial to act quickly and seek legal advice when appealing a denied claim.
These are not the only terms you might encounter when filing a workers’ compensation claim. You might want to contact an attorney to walk you through every step of the claims process.
Get the Representation You Need
Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be a complicated process with many unfamiliar terms. If you are experiencing difficulty navigating the system, seek legal advice from our attorneys at Berman | Sobin | Gross LLP. We can provide you with the representation you need to ensure that you receive the benefits to which you are entitled. Call 800-248-3352 for a free case review.