Maryland law requires every business with one employee or more to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Every business with one or more employees is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in Maryland. That includes both full-time and part-time employees.
Workers' comp provides medical benefits for workplace injuries and illnesses. Policies usually include employer's liability insurance, which can help cover legal expenses if an employee sues their employer over a work injury.
The exceptions to Maryland's workers' comp requirement are agricultural employers that have fewer than three employees or an annual payroll that totals less than $15,000.
A business owner who is a sole proprietor, a partner in a business partnership, or an independent contractor does not need to be covered by Maryland workers’ compensation insurance. However, they might decide to buy this coverage to protect against the high cost of medical expenses.
Employers in Maryland have several options for purchasing a workers' compensation policy:
You can buy workers' comp from a private insurance company. Insureon helps small business owners compare quotes from top-rated insurance providers. Fill out our easy online application to get started.
You can apply for self-insurance. Employers who meet certain requirements can opt for self-insurance. Find details here [PDF].
To save money on workers' comp, it's important to make sure you classify your employees correctly. Employees with desk jobs or other jobs with a low risk of injury cost less to insure. This also helps you avoid misclassification fines.
In some cases, small business owners can choose to buy pay-as-you-go workers' compensation. This type of workers' comp policy has a low upfront premium, and lets you make payments based on your actual payroll instead of estimated payroll. It's useful for businesses that hire seasonal help or have fluctuating numbers of employees.
Finally, a documented safety program can help lower workers' comp costs. A safer workplace means fewer accidents, which helps keep your premium low.
In Maryland, an employee who suffers an on-the-job injury or occupational disease can receive workers' compensation benefits that cover medical bills and also part of the wages lost during recovery.
The harm must have been caused by "accidental personal injury arising out of and in the course of employment," according to the Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission. Occupational diseases and job-related fatalities may also be covered.
Employees who suffer temporary total disability, permanent total disability, or permanent partial disability can receive disability benefits to help make up for lost income. Workers' comp can also pay for vocational rehabilitation training if the worker is unable to return to their job.
Maryland employers that fail to maintain the required workers’ comp insurance coverage can be fined up to $10,000. If the company is a corporation, the officers would bear personal liability for this cost.
If an employer deducts any part of the workers’ compensation costs from employees’ wages, the employer can be found guilty of a misdemeanor.
If an employee dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness, death benefits can be awarded to surviving dependents.
In some states, only certain family members like spouses and children can claim death benefits. In Maryland, any family member who was financially dependent on the deceased worker may claim benefits.
Usually, a surviving dependent would receive two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage up to the legal maximum. However, this depends on how much the deceased worker contributed to the family income. In other words, if the person was responsible for 60% of the household expenses, the dependents can receive 60% of two-thirds of the average weekly wage.
Death benefits are available to survivors for a minimum of five years and a maximum of 12 years, depending on the circumstances. Maryland workers’ compensation also covers reasonable funeral expenses up to $7,000.
A workers’ compensation settlement is an agreement between the parties that will resolve your workers’ compensation claim. This benefits both the employee and the employer. A settlement in a workers’ compensation claim is a full and final resolution.
An injured worker is never required to come to a settlement.
However, if the worker has reached maximum medical improvement or will not require additional medical treatment, they can settle for a lump sum in exchange for closing the claim. In the state of Maryland, workers’ compensation settlements must be approved by the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC), which manages claims and enforcement.
An injured worker must notify the employer within 10 days of the injury. Workers' comp claims should be filed with the WCC within 60 days of the injury or the discovery of a work-related illness.
The statute of limitations for a Maryland workers’ compensation claim is two years from the date of the accident that caused the injury. The WCC provides an employee claim form and instructions for claimants.
Consider consulting an experienced workers' compensation attorney for legal advice about your claim or settlement.
Start a free online application today to compare workers’ compensation quotes from leading U.S. insurance companies. Insureon’s licensed agents specialize in policies for a wide range of Maryland businesses.