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Who is responsible for your workers' compensation insurance?

As a worker in Maryland, you need to know your rights. You are entitled to care if you're hurt on the job, and you shouldn't have to struggle through a difficult claims system to get the money and care you need. There are many laws in place that aim to keep you insured while working for your employer, and they provide certain benefits.

For instance, were you aware that your employer absolutely has to have workers' compensation insurance or must be a self-insured employer? If your employer doesn't obtain workers' compensation insurance, then he or she faces a misdemeanor charge and a fine of up to $5,000. In addition, your employer could face imprisonment for up to a year.

Were you also aware that you don't need to pay for any part of workers' compensation insurance? As an employee, you pay your own health care and other premiums in most cases, but your employer is fully required to pay for workers' compensation. If it's discovered that your pay has had workers' compensation fees deducted from it, then your employer could be charged and found guilty of a misdemeanor.

Your employer is responsible for your health and welfare while on the job. Following an injury, your employer and his insurance must cover the payments of your medical care and treatment. On top of that, your employer is required to report your injury to the Workers' Compensation Commission in Maryland within 10 days of the accident. The Department of Occupational Safety and Health also needs to be notified about the injury in most cases and may need to investigate the safety of your workplace.

Source: Maryland Workers Compensation Commission, "Questions and Answers for Employees" Nov. 20, 2014

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