Maryland Low Wage Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Low Wage Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation benefits in Maryland are generally set at two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly wage for the 14 weeks immediately prior to his or her injury. Workers cannot receive more than the average weekly wage for the entire state. The average weekly wage is re-calculated periodically to keep it up to date with actual wages being paid in Maryland.
Workers who receive particularly low wages, however, may find that their two-thirds calculation is too low to support them as they attempt to recover from their workplace injury or occupational illness. For low-wage workers, Maryland provides a minimum amount of benefits in some situations.
What Are the Minimum Workers’ Comp Benefits in Maryland?
Maryland provides a minimum benefit for some workers who suffer permanent partial disability. As of 2012, the minimum for permanent partial disability benefits was $50.00 per week, according to the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission. However, if a worker earned less than $50.00 per week normally, the worker’s permanent partial disability benefits would still be calculated using the two-thirds of the average weekly wage rule. Under no circumstances, however, can a Maryland worker who suffers partial permanent disability receive less than $25.00 per week if he or she is eligible for workers’ compensation.
Maryland also sets a minimum benefit for workers who suffer permanent total disability, which in 2012 was $50.00 per week regardless of what the worker actually made in the 14 weeks prior to the injury. These workers may also be eligible for federal Social Security disability or other benefits, which must be applied for separately from workers’ compensation.
A Note on Independent Contractors
Low-wage minimum benefits and other workers’ compensation benefits are only available for employees. Independent contractors may not receive workers’ compensation coverage, regardless of how much or how little they make. According to the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission, it’s important to be sure you are properly classified so that you can receive benefits if you are performing the duties of an employee. If you are an independent contractor, however, you may still be able to file a claim in court against a place you do work for if your client’s negligence resulted in your injuries. These types of claims are not covered by the rules for low-wage workers and minimum benefits.
Protecting Your Financial Future
Regardless of the type of work you do or how much you’re paid, a serious on the job injury or illness can make life much more difficult for you and your family. The key to ensuring that you do not suffer unnecessary financial hardships while trying to recover is by getting the compensation you need to take care of routine expenses. The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC are dedicated to helping injured workers get the compensation they deserve, whether their wages are high or low. For a free and confidential consultation, call us today at (844) 632-7274, or use our free online form to contact our office.