Every state has its own specific workers’ compensation procedure and laws in place when it comes to getting benefits. Anyone either sickened or hurt on the job in this state can apply for Maine workers’ compensation benefits. Learn about the program’s history in Maine and the steps you must follow to file your claim below.
Who Doesn’t Automatically Have Workers’ Compensation Coverage?
Nearly all public and private employers in this state must provide Maine workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This mandatory insurance coverage applies to all employees as well as some independent contractors. However, the following are exempt from this coverage and cannot file Maine workers’ compensation claims:
- Federal employees
- Domestic servants working in an employer’s home
- Agricultural or aquaculture workers (i.e., seasonal or sporadic jobs with six or fewer employees at any given time)
- Sole proprietors of businesses with no other employees
- Members of limited liability companies (LLCs)
How the Maine Workers’ Compensation Process Works
Maine workers’ compensation benefits pay medical bills related to your workplace injury. You may also receive lost wage payments if you need more than a week off to recover. According to the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board, follow these steps to file your claim.
- Report your workplace injury to your employer immediately. You must give notice within 60 days to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Ask if you must see an employer-authorized doctor. If yes, only that doctor may treat your injury.
- Your employer must then complete a First Report of Injury form within 7 days. If your supervisor doesn’t give you a copy, ask for one! Contact the Maine WCB and ask to speak with a Troubleshooter if your employer fails to complete this step.
- You can change to a different healthcare provider after the first 10 days. You must inform your employer you wish to change doctors and provide your new physician’s information.
- Your employer must pay your approved workers’ compensation claim within 14 days. The employer’s insurer should pay your medical bills directly. You’ll get paid for any lost wages only after you take more than a week off to recover. If you’re out more than two weeks, you’ll get paid for the first seven days of missed work
- A Troubleshooter will contact you to resolve the dispute if your employer denies your claim. You should also receive a Notice of Controversy from your employer.
- You can request mediation if the Troubleshooter cannot resolve your dispute. After mediation, your next step in the appeal process is to request a formal hearing.
Every Maine workers’ compensation claim is unique, so your own experience may vary. For more information about the Maine workers’ compensation program, read this pamphlet.
Maine Workers’ Compensation Statistics, 2014-2018
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases an annual workers’ compensation report that highlights nearly each state’s program data. The report goes over the number of claims filed, how many employees either missed work or received restrictions, and total requests for each occupational field. Our chart below tracks how the Maine workers’ compensation program changed from 2014 to 2018:
Maine is definitely one of the most stable states in the country when it comes to workers’ comp claims. As you can see, the number of total claims filed barely moved at all during this five-year period. Service-industry workers account for the biggest change, showing a 9.5% drop in claims filed between 2014 and 2017. Total claims fell just 5.6% from 2014-2017, for comparison’s sake.
Like most other states, employees in the service industry file the most Maine workers’ compensation claims. That job sector accounts for 64%-68% of all claims filed in Maine for any given year. Not all workers have injuries bad enough to receive job restrictions, transfer positions or need extensive time off to recover. They still make up the majority of cases, however, accounting for 54%-58% of claimants each year.
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
If you have any pre-existing health conditions, then we strongly recommend talking to a workers’ compensation attorney. Attorneys understand the Maine workers’ compensation process well. In addition, they can provide you with the tailored support your claim needs.
Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!
Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.