Maryland and Washington, D. C. workers who suffer hearing or vision loss due to work-related injuries or illnesses may recover workers’ compensation benefits, amounts of which are based on whether the disability is partial or total and whether it is temporary or permanent.
Injured workers in Washington, D. C. who are found to have a temporary total disability due to hearing or vision loss may receive two-thirds of their average salary for the 26 weeks prior to their injury, up to a statutory cap. Workers who have a temporary partial disability may receive two-thirds of the difference between their pre-injury and post-injury salaries.
Upon a treating doctor’s finding that the injured worker has reached maximum medical improvement, the worker may be considered permanently disabled, whether partially or totally. Such a worker can receive an award of two-thirds of their salary for a set number of weeks, which is based on the injured body part. For instance, the loss of an eye entitles an injured worker to an award of 120 weeks of salary. In the case of a permanent partial disability, the injured worker is entitled to a percentage of the weekly value assessed for the injury. If a worker with an injured eye was found to have a 30 percent loss of use of the eye, the worker would be entitled to an award of 36 weeks of salary (30 percent of 120).
In Maryland, workers found to have a temporary total disability based on hearing or vision loss may receive two-thirds of their average weekly salary up to a statutory cap that is tied to a percentage of the state’s average weekly salary, which is currently $1,080. Workers who are temporarily partially disabled may receive 50 percent of the difference between their pre-injury salary and their current salary.
A Maryland worker who reaches maximum medical improvement may be determined to be permanently disabled. If the disability is total, the worker may receive two-thirds of their average weekly salary, up to a statutory cap. The more serious the injury, the higher the cap. A worker who is permanently partially disabled may obtain an award reflecting the percentage of disability.
In both Maryland and Washington, D.C., a worker who loses both eyes — or one eye and a leg, foot, arm or hand — would be presumed totally disabled. A worker who loses hearing in both ears — or hearing in one ear and a leg, foot, arm or hand — would likewise be presumed totally disabled.
Workers can also receive reimbursement for medical expenses related to the hearing or visual injuries and future treatment of those injuries.
An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help a sight- or hearing-impaired worker obtain the benefits to which he or she is entitled. Lightfoot Law, PLLC in Washington, D.C. handles workers’ compensation claims in Maryland and the D. C. area. To schedule a free initial consultation, call us at 202-919-5453 or contact us online.