Legal Studies – Worker’s Compensation

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1. Readings fron WCC website: click on General Informaton (to the left of screen), click on Employee Benefits, Claims and Process, then click on available benefit types and payment of benefits read all information contained therein.
Review the forms of the Commission. Review modification forms: These forms are contained under claims and adjuications – forms – click on Request for Modification and also click on the Issues form (2 forms)
2. Review Title 9 of the Maryland Workers Compensation Act – Title 9 of the Labor and Employmnt Article of the Maryland Annotated Code. Specifically read sections as follows:
How a permanency or PPD Award is calculated:
1. part of body injured or at issue: determine the part of the body injured and the number of weeks associated with that body part. Look at 9-627 to determine body part. For example, an arm is 300 weeks, a leg 300 weeks, a back or neck is 500 weeks (as those body parts are not listed so they default to 500 weeks)
2. year of injury: make note of the year of the injury
3. average weekly wage: note the average weekly wage of your claimant and calculated 1/3 of that aww and 2/3 of that aww. For example, if you have a claimant with an aww of $ 1,000 – 1/3 of that = $ 333.33 (for injuries 75 weeks and below) and 2/3 = $ 666.66 (for injuries 75 weeks and above).
4. State average weekly wage for year at issue: make note of the State average weekly wage for year at issue. Find this information on WCC website at: claims and adjudications – click on Maryland Compensations Rates – click on Maryland WCC maximum rates of benefits – click on year of injury to find state average weekly wage and maximum rates for permanent partial disability.
5. Calculate Award by doing the math:
For example, if you have a worker with $ 1,000 AWW injured in 2010 and he gets 14% from WCC the calculation is as follows:
500 weeks for a back x .14% awarded by WCC = 70 weeks x $142.00 (1/3 of $1,000=$333.33 but capped at $142 rate for a 2010 injury) = $ 9,940.00
if that same worker is awarded 15%, then the calcuation would be:
500 weeks x .15% = 75 weeks x $307 (2/3 of $1,000 = $666.66 but capped at rate of $307.00 for 2010 injury) = $23,025.00
So you can see that going from 14% to 15% can make the difference of $ 13,085.00 dollars for a 2010 injury.
Readjustments: 9-736 (provides that claims can be reopened or modified within 5 years from last compensation payment)
Rehearings: 9-726
Failure to Pay Award: 9-728 (provides that Awards must be paid within 15 days of the Award)
Judicial Review or Appeals: 9-737, 9-738, 9-739, 9-742, 9-745
1. Calculate a permanency award: 10 points
Assume you work for the law firm of Smart & Better. This firm primarily represents injured workers who have been involved in work related accidents. You previously filed Issues of permanency for Howard Smith. The attorney, Mrs. Smart, went to the hearing for Mr. Smith and his Award has been issued by the Commission. The ratings were 20% by the claimant’s doctor and 0% by the IME or Insurer/Employer doctor. The claimant received 14% from the Commission. As above stated, the injury happened in 2012 and his average weekly wage is $500.00.
1. Mr. Smith wants to know how much money he will receive from the 14%. Permanency to the back. Calculate 14% to the back for a 2012 injury with an AWW of $500.00. Show your math and exactly how you arrived at that number. 4 points
2. Mr. Smith also wants to know how much money he would have received if he got 15% to the back. Calculate the Award based 15% to the back for a 2012 injury with an AWW of $500.00 Show your math and exactly how you arrived at that number. 3 points.
3. Assume Mr. Smith has an average weekly wage of $300 per week and again gets 14% from the WCC to the back for a 2012 injury. Calculate the Award given an aww of $300 and Show your math and exactly how you arrived at that number. 3 points
2. Print out and complete re-opening form (10 points): Assume you still work for Smart & Better. Mr. Smith decided not to appeal his Award of 14% issued in 2012. Let’s pretend it is now 2015 and Mr. Smith has returned to the law firm of Smart & Better. Mr. Smith tells you that his back has gotten worse, he has another surgery, more physical therapy and now his doctor has given him a higher rating of 40% to the back. Your boss Mrs. Smart wants to re-open the case by filing Issues asking for worsening of condition.
Print out and complete the Request for Modification form and the Issues more for additional permanent partial disability. 5 points for each form. Please print out and complete each form, scan and post in the assignment folder for week # 4. If you have problems scanning the documents you may fax them to Professor at 240.453.9944.
3. Appeal: 4 points: Mr. Smith has decided that he is not happy with his Award of 14%. He really wanted to receive 15% or higher. Mrs. Smart wants you to inform her of any appeal rights Mr. Smith might have.
Please answer the following regarding appeals:
1. Can Mr. Smith file an appeal or does he have to just be satisfied with the decision of the WCC. 1 point
2. What is the code section that you rely upon to Answer #1 above (either granting or denying any appeal rights). 1 point
3. If Mr. Smith can appeal, is there a time frame or time period within which he must file? 1 point
4. Mr. Smith lives in Prince George’s County but worked in Montgomery County. The Employer has offices in Montgomery County and Baltimore County. What County or Counties can Mr. Smith file an appeal in? Name all counties that might be available to Mr. Smith to file this appeal. Cite the code section that is applicable in this decision on where he can file an appeal. 1 point

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