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Maryland Firefighters Fighting Cancer and Workers Compensation

Firefighter

Maryland firefighters are having trouble fighting cancer after their claims for workers’ compensation benefits were rejected, according to an article by NBC.

Over the weekend of October 8 and 9, people gathered in Maryland for the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend. Attendees honored deceased firefighters and their sacrifice for the greater good.

In the process, stories from current and former firefighters began to stream out. There is a growing list of firefighters who died from cancer – not the blazing flames of an out-of-control fire.

In fact, The International Association of Firefighters reports that 60 percent of firefighters today die from cancer, not fires. Further compounding matters, certain Maryland firefighters have experienced issues in the state workers’ compensation system. When their claims for benefits were denied, they faced the full brunt of their mounting medical bills and lost wages.

Considering the struggles Maryland firefighters are facing with workers’ compensation benefits, we should review how claimants can challenge claim denials in the workers’ compensation system.

What Happens if I am Denied Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Thankfully a denied claim for workers’ compensation benefits is not necessarily the end of the road. There are many options claimants can pursue after such a denial.

Issues Form

The first step in the process is completing an Issues Form. Provided by the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission (the Commission), this form allows a claimant to challenge their denial and request a hearing for additional review.

Hearing

The second step in the process involves a hearing with a Commissioner. The worker and their employer are both given a chance to argue their respective positions. Then the Commissioner decides the appropriate level of workers’ compensation benefits, if any.

Rehearing

If a claimant is unhappy with the Commissioner’s decision, they can file a challenge. This brings us to the third step in the process, which involves completion of another form from the Commission, a Request for Rehearing. Claimants have 15 days from the date of the Commissioner’s decision to file a Request for rehearing. Upon receipt of such a form, the Commission will decide whether to rehear the case.

Appeal

Even if a claimant does not receive a rehearing from the Commission – or if they lose their rehearing – there is another possibility. The fourth step of this process involves filing an appeal to the Circuit Courts of Maryland. Claimants have 30 days from the date of the Commission’s final decision to file such an appeal.

Contact Us for Help

It can be extremely difficult to handle workers’ compensation claims or other aspects of personal injury law. If you need assistance filing a claim in Maryland, don’t hesitate to reach out to Iamele & Iamele, LLP for professional help.

Resources:

nbcdfw.com/news/local/Im-Not-Giving-Up-Firefighters-Battling-Cancer–Workers-Comp-Denials-450176533.html

wcc.state.md.us/PDF/PDF_Forms/eISSUES_2012.pdf

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