The Interpreter Program for Maryland Workers’ Compensation Hearings
For qualifying, work-related injuries in Maryland, workers’ compensation allows the injured employee to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other related costs. The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission (the Commission) oversees and administers workers’ compensation claims across the state.
During the hearings process for workers’ compensation claims, it is necessary for the injured worker to respond to verbal prompts in English. If the injured worker is not able to converse fluently in English, however, the hearings process can become extremely difficult. That is why the Commission offers the Interpreter Program to injured employees who have difficulty maintaining verbal conversations in English.
Eligibility for the Interpreter Program
In most cases, eligibility for the Commission’s Interpreter Program is limited to individuals who have limited English proficiency or hearing impairment.
Limited English Proficiency
The term limited English proficiency applies to individuals are not capable to communicating effectively with the Commission. This term applies to speaking, reading and writing in English. Ultimately, the Commission must ensure that all parties are able to understand the workers’ compensation hearings, all of which occur in English. That is why the Commission provides interpreters for workers with limited English proficiency.
The term hearing impairment applies to individuals who have difficulty participating in verbal conversations. Given the number of verbal prompts and explanations in a workers’ compensation hearing, the Commission must ensure that the hearing impaired can understand the process completely. That is why the Commission provides interpreters for the hearing impaired.
Available Languages under the Interpreter Program
The Commission strives to provide support in as many languages as possible under the Interpreter Program. If the Commission has a qualified interpreter in a particular language, then the staff interpreter can handle the case. If there is not an internal resource with the requisite language capabilities, the Commission also engages the assistance of various approved contractors.
Charges and Fees for the Interpreter Program
If the Commission designates a qualified interpreter — internally or externally — then the injured worker is not responsible for interpretation charges or fees. The Commission will pay any charges or fees related to the interpreter.
If the injured worker decides to arrange for their own interpreter, however, then they are responsible for all interpretation charges or fees. Moreover, the injured worker must secure a court-certified interpreter. Otherwise, the Commission may not approve the interpreter for participation in the workers’ compensation hearings.
Requesting Services under the Interpreter Program
During the workers’ compensation hearing process, either party may submit a formal request for an interpreter via phone, email or post. The party must submit their request within 10 days of the hearing notice.
Contact Us Today for Help
if you were hurt at work and need to file a worker’s compensation claim in Maryland, it can be exceptionally beneficial to consult with a skilled workers’ compensation attorney. The attorneys at Iamele & Iamele, LLP in Baltimore, Maryland, fave fought diligently to secure workers’ compensation benefits for many clients. If you need legal help, contact us today for a free initial consultation.