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Workers' Compensation Frequently Asked Questions
What is Workers' Compensation?
Workers' Compensation insurance is a program established by State law which all employers having one or more employees, full or part-time, are required to have for the benefit of their employees. It is a no-fault system under which injured employees receive benefits in connection with work-related injuries or occupational illness. The Workers' Compensation Commission is the State Arbitration Board that ensures employees are given fair treatment in the event of a work-related accident or illness. For an injury to be considered compensable under workers' compensation, the injury must "arise out of and in the course of employment."
Who pays for Workers' Compensation Insurance?
Workers' Compensation Insurance is paid entirely by the employer. No payroll deductions are taken out of individual employees' paychecks.
What is the first step I should take if I am injured while working?
Make your supervisor aware of the incident immediately, seek medical treatment if necessary, then complete the Injury Report form. Injury Report forms can be found at: https://www.essr.umd.edu
Note: Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the University Health Center is not taking walk-in visits and is accepting appointments by phone only. For an appointment call: (301) 314-8184 during hours of operations.
Can I choose any doctor for an on the job injury?
Yes, if the injury is compensable; however, the employer reserves the right to refer you to a physician of the employer's choice and the employer's physician determines return to work status.
Note: All procedures other than initial or emergency treatment, must be pre-approved by the workers' compensation insurance.
If I am disabled and cannot work for a certain period of time, how will I be compensated for lost wages?
If you are in a "regular" employment status, you are eligible for accident leave immediately for up to 30 days, unless otherwise notified. Only accidents, not occupational illnesses, are covered by accident leave.
What is accident leave?
Accident leave is monetary compensation for time lost from work due to a work-related accident if (a) it is determined to be compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act and (b) a physician examines the employee and certifies that the employee is disabled as a result of the injury. Whether an employee receives accident leave is determined by the UMD Workers' Compensation Manager. Employees are eligible for accident leave if they are appointed in a "regular employment status". Contractual, contingent, temporary, or hourly employees are not eligible for accident leave. Accident leave is two thirds (2/3) of the employee's gross wages. It is non-taxable, non-cumulative, and is available for up to six (6) months from the first day of disability.
How can I be compensated if I am not eligible for accident leave?
If you miss more than 3 days from work and have a compensable claim, you will receive temporary total benefits from the University's Workers' Compensation Carrier, the Injured Workers' Insurance Fund (IWIF).
What is Temporary Total Benefits?
Temporary Total Benefits (TTB) is monetary compensation for time lost from work due to work-related accidents for employees (a) not eligible for accident leave or (b) when eligibility for accident leave has expired. TTB is paid by IWIF, not the University, and must be requested by the employee. TTB is paid at the rate of two-thirds (2/3) of the employee's gross wages and provides compensation to the temporarily disabled employee until the physician states the he/she may return to work.
Is this compensation - Accident Leave or Temporary Total Benefits - the same as my salary?
No, it is two-thirds (2/3) of your gross wages, but non-taxable.
Who determines disability?
Your treating physician will determine the length of disability or any temporary work restrictions.
How do I handle my medical expenses?
Give your medical provider the following necessary information to process bills:
- Workers' Compensation Insurance name and address:
Injured Workers Insurance Fund (IWIF)
8722 Loch Raven Boulevard
Towson, MD 21286-2235
- Your IWIF # (case number):
Call (301) 405-5466 to get your case/claim number
- Phone number to get pre-authorization:
Note: All procedures other than initial or emergency treatment, must be pre-authorized.
If I am scheduled for an independent medical evaluation by the employer or the insurance company, do I have to comply?
Yes. You will jeopardize your benefits if you do not comply.
What happens if I am returned to a limited duty capacity?
Your department should make every effort to accommodate your restrictions. If you refuse the temporary duties, you have to use your earned leave for time off.
If I receive notice from IWIF that they are denying liability for my claim, what can I do?
You can file a claim with the Workers' Compensation Commission.
Do I need to hire an attorney to file a claim?
You do not need an attorney to file a claim, but you should have legal representation if the case goes to a hearing.
Note: The injury report form is not a claim.
What if I want to hire an attorney but don't know one?
If you are a resident of Maryland, you may call the Lawyer Referral and Information Service at (410) 539-3112 in Baltimore. You may also check your local telephone directory for the number of a local lawyer referral service.
Who pays for the lawyer?
Do not pay money to anyone who assists you with your claim. The Workers' Compensation Commission determines the attorney's fee. If an award is made to you, the fee will be deducted from your disability award.
What kind of benefits will I receive if I have a permanent disability?
You will receive weekly benefits for a specified period of time based on the type and extent of your permanent disability. Medical evaluations are usually required to establish the nature and extent of any permanent disability.
What is Fraud?
Fraud is intentional misrepresentation of a situation or a fact.
What number do I call if I have any questions or need advice?
Call (301) 405-5466