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Warnken, LLC Attorneys at Law, Attorneys & Lawyers, Pikesville, MD

More Common Workers’ Compensation Questions

by Rebecca Smith, Esq.

I’m afraid that I will not be able to continue working in my field due to my on the job injury/illness. Will worker’s compensation help me find a new job?

If your workers’ compensation carrier determines that you can no longer perform your former job duties due to your injury or illness, than you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation. Usually you will need medical evidence, such as a doctor’s report, to support your claim for vocational rehabilitation. Vocational rehabilitation is paid for by your employer’s insurance carrier and provides services that help you re-enter the workforce in a new occupation. These services can include vocational counseling, job testing, and retraining.

How long will it take for me to be awarded a payment after filing a worker’s compensation claim?

This is dependent on a lot of factors. If you file a claim for your on the job illness or injury and your employer and/or insurance carrier does not object to the claim, than it should be processed within a few weeks and you will receive compensation for your medical expenses and for income replacement if you missed more than three days of work. However, if your employer and/or insurer contest your claim, a hearing must be scheduled before the Worker’s Compensation Commission (WCC) and you must be able to prove that your illness or injury is work related before you can receive any benefits. This process may take anywhere from two to six months or longer. If it is determined that your condition is work related, then your employer is obligated to pay for your medical treatment indefinitely, as long as the treatment is related to your workplace illness or injury.  It’s best to speak with a qualified comp attorney with regard to this question.

Can my employer fire me for filing a worker’s compensation claim against them?

By law your employer can not fire or discriminate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. They can, however, fire you if you are unable to return to work or perform your job duties due to your on the job injury or illness. However, terminating your employment for this reason does not mean that your employer may stop providing workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer began providing you with uncontested benefits after you filed your claim, or if they were ordered by the Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) to provide you with benefits, then they must continue to do so even after your termination. 

About Warnken, LLC

Warnken, LLC handles workers’ compensation, injury cases, and law enforcement issues.  The firm also handles select criminal cases and appeals.  For more workers’ compensation questions and answers, please see here.