If you get a Notice of Dispute from the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission indicating your workers' comp claim for benefits has been denied, or if you believe you have not been awarded all the benefits you are entitled to, you have the right to request a hearing before the Commission. (For a overview of eligibility and benefits, see our overview article on Maryland workers' comp claims.)
Requesting a Hearing
You will have to submit an Issues Form to the Commission to request a hearing. Select the issue that you believe was wrongly decided, such as whether your injury was work-related or whether your average weekly wage was calculated correctly. This form must be sent to the Commission at the address below as well as to your employer or its insurance company.
Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission10 East Baltimore StreetBaltimore, MD 21202-1641
A Commissioner will preside over your hearing, listen to both you and your employer, and decide what benefits you should receive, if any. If you are unhappy with the Commissioner’s decision, you have the right to request a rehearing.
Requesting a Rehearing
You have fifteen days from the date of the Commissioner’s decision to ask for a rehearing. You will need to submit a written Request for Rehearing. It is up to the Commission to decide if it will grant a rehearing or not, and it isn’t easy to get one. A rehearing will be granted only if the Commissioner made a legal error or if you have new evidence that you could not possibly have obtained in time for the original hearing date.
If you are denied a rehearing, you have the right to appeal to Circuit Court. If you are granted a rehearing and you lose, you also may appeal to Circuit Court.
A rehearing can be requested, heard, and decided even if you have filed an appeal has been filed with the Circuit Court. However, if the Court rules before the Commission does, the Court’s ruling takes precedence.
Appealing to Circuit Court
If you are unhappy with the decision reached after the hearing (or rehearing), you have thirty days from the date the decision was mailed to you to file an appeal. This appeal will be made to the Circuit Court nearest to you.
You will need to file a Notice of Appeal, which can be found online at the People’s Law Library of Maryland website.
For assistance with the appeals process, you may contact the Workers’ Compensation Commission Appeals Division at (800) 492-0479, extension 5320, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requesting a Transcript of Your Hearing
After you file your appeal in Circuit Court, the court will notify the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Division that an appeal has been filed and that a transcript of the Commission Hearing is needed by the court.
It is a good idea for you to also notify the court reporter directly that the transcript is needed, as your appeal cannot proceed without it. Requests for transcripts must be made in writing and mailed to:
Maryland Workers’ Compensation CommissionAttn: Court Reporting Division10 East Baltimore StreetBaltimore, MD 21202
Normally, a transcript will be prepared within 60 days. Make sure you respond to any correspondence sent to you by the Court Reporter. Double check your claim number and the hearing date before submitting your written transcript request, as errors can create delays.
If you need help, contact the Court Reporting Division.
The Circuit Court Hearing
At the Circuit Court hearing, both you and your employer or its insurance company will have the right to be heard.
In Circuit Court, there is a presumption that the decision the Commission was the correct one. You will have to specifically prove why the Commission’s decision was incorrect in order to win the case. The Court will consider all of the facts of your case and decide whether the Commission exceeded its authority or misapplied the law to the facts of your case.
The Court will either agree with the Commission’s decision on your claim or disagree with it in whole or in part. If the Court disagrees with only part of the decision, it may send your case back to the Commission for reconsideration.
If You Lose at Circuit Court
If you lose your case at Circuit Court, you have the right to appeal to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Lots of procedural rules govern these appeals and any errors can hurt your case, so it can be best to retain an attorney to assist you. If you decide to proceed without an attorney, review the Guide to Self-Representation, which is available on the People’s Law Library of Maryland website. If you wish to hire an attorney, you can visit Nolo's online attorney directory.