Appealing a Maryland Workers Compensation Denial
If you applied for and were denied workers compensation benefits in Maryland, or if you were granted benefits but you disagree with some part of the decision awarding you benefits, you have the right to file an appeal with the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission (the Commission). (For the basics, see our article on Maryland workers' comp eligibility and benefits.)
You aren't required to hire an attorney to represent you during a workers' comp appeal, but if you do, you may have a better chance of a positive outcome or a higher settlement.
About the Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission
The Workers' Compensation Commission is a state agency that is responsible for overseeing workers’ compensation claims in Maryland and holding hearings when employees or employers contest a workers’ compensation decision. A Commissioner holds hearings, reviews the facts and law, and issues a decision.
The Appeals Division of the Commission can be reached at (800) 492-0479 , extension 5320, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The mailing address for the Commission is:
Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission
10 East Baltimore Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202-1641
Filing a Workers' Comp Appeal in Maryland
If your claim was denied, you have the right to appeal by requesting a hearing with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. An appeal is filed by completing an Issues Form and submitting it to the address above. It is a good idea to have an attorney help you with filling out the appeal form.
Your Appeal Hearing
You will receive a Hearing Notice that will tell you the hearing location as well as a date and time to appear. If you request a new hearing date at least ten days in advance and haven’t heard anything back about your new date, contact the Hearing Division at 410-864-5186 or by email at email@example.com
At your hearing, a Commissioner will hear your case. Information can be presented by you as well as by your employer. The Commission will listen to all the facts, consider the law and how it applies to the facts, and issue a decision.
Next Level of Appeal
If the Commissioner denies you benefits, you have 30 days to file the next level of appeal with the Circuit Court. The 30-day time period runs from the date of the Commission’s decision, the date the Commission mailed you notice of the decision, or the date your received the notice of decision, whichever is latest.
You will need to file a petition asking for “judicial review” of the Commissioner’s decision. This petition must be in a special format. You will not be required to pay a filing fee, but you will be required to send a copy of your petition to the Commission and to your employer and/or their insurance company.
Different Circuit Courts in Maryland have different procedures for filing appeals. Contact the Circuit Court in your county for more information. Procedural rules in Circuit Court are complex, so it would be wise to hire an attorney to assist you.
Circuit Court Questions
Requesting a Transcript
Once your appeal is filed at Circuit Court, the Commission will be notified by the Court that a hearing transcript needs to be sent to the Court. It is a good idea to also request the transcript yourself. You can request this transcript from the Court Reporting Division. Transcript requests must be made in writing and sent to:
Maryland Workers’ Compensation CommissionAttn: Court Reporting Division10 East Baltimore StreetBaltimore, Maryland, 21202
How Long Does it Take to Get a Transcript?
Once the Circuit Court notifies the Commission that an appeal has been filed, transcripts will normally be completed within 60 days. However, it is possible to request an extension of an additional 60 days before the transcript must be filed with the court.
If you are asking for a transcript but haven’t filed an appeal, you will normally receive it within 30 days.
Why Isn’t the Transcript With the Circuit Court yet?
Sometimes an extension is granted, a court reporter may not have found out the transcript was needed, the court reporter may have sent you a letter that you forgot to respond to, or some other error may have occurred.
When Will the Circuit Court Hear my Case?
After the Circuit Court receives the hearing transcript, it will be three months or more before a hearing will be held on your case. You and your employer can agree not to have the hearing, in which case the court will make a decision based on the existing record of the case. Normally the court will not accept new evidence, but you can make a motion to ask to present additional evidence. You have the right to request a jury trial.
What Can the Circuit Court Decide?
After the hearing, there are several actions the Circuit Court might take:
- send your case back to the Commission
- agree with the Commission’s decision
- make changes to the Commission’s decision, or
- disagree with the Commission’s decision and reverse it in your favor.
Special Court of Appeals
If you are not successful with your Circuit Court appeal, you have the right to appeal to the Special Court of Appeals. To do so, you will have to file a Notice of Appeal with the Circuit Court. Next you will have to “serve notice” of the appeal to your employer and/or their insurance company. You should have an attorney to make sure notice is served correctly. You will have to pay a filing fee to the Circuit Court as well as the Special Court of Appeals.
Ten days after filing the Notice of Appeal, you are required to file a Civil Appeal Information report with the Clerk of the Court of Special Appeals. This report will describe the facts at issue in your case. If you will be representing yourself at the Special Court of Appeals, the court has a written guide to assist you.