Workers Compensation Laws in Maine

Workers compensation is a system of laws meant to protect injured and disabled workers. The goal is to make sure someone injured at their workplace gets adequate medical care, lost wages relating to the on-the-job injury, and, if necessary, and any retraining necessary to restore them to the workforce.

If workers are killed on the job, members of the workers' families are typically eligible for workers compensation benefits. Injured workers may want to consult an attorney for advice in protecting their benefits and defending against any attempt to prematurely terminate their benefits.

Workers Compensation is Compulsory in Maine

Maine law stipulates that workers compensation is compulsory, meaning that employers are required to provide worker's compensation insurance for their employees. It can be provided through a competitive state fund, a private insurance carrier, or employers may self-insure. Waivers are sometimes permitted.

Agricultural or aquacultural laborers, employed by companies with six or fewer workers, may be exempt from the state's worker's compensation act. Employers are allowed to provide voluntary worker's compensation coverage for domestic servants.

Medical Benefits and Physician Choice in Maine

The employer selects the initial physician who will provide care, and the employee may choose after a period of time defined by law. Full medical benefits with no time or monetary limits are to be provided.

Disability Benefits Provided in Maine

Temporary total disability payments are calculated as a percentage of the worker's wage and continue for the duration of the disability. They are subject to unemployment insurance benefit offsets.

Permanent total disability payments are calculated as a percentage of the worker's wage and typically continue for the duration of the disability. Benefits are offset by Unemployment Insurance benefits received.

Permanent partial disability benefits are allotted based on a percentage of the worker's wage and will either continue for up to 364 weeks or the duration of the disability.

Benefits may be available for serious disfigurement of the face or head if the disfigurement affects earning capacity.

Death Benefits Provided in Maine

An employee's surviving spouse, or spouse and children may collect death benefits, based upon a percentage of the employee's wages and subject to a cap. A burial allowance is also available.

Limits on Attorney Fees

Maine workers compensation laws stipulate that attorney fees for claimants are decided by the agency on a case-by-case basis. In cases involving discrimination, the attorney fee may be added to the award.