STATE WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION

ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS


In Maryland, the State's role in workers' compensation began in 1902 when the Employer and Employee Cooperative Fund was established under the State Insurance Commissioner (Chapter 139, Acts of 1902). In April 1904, the Court of Common Pleas of Baltimore City declared the Fund to be unconstitutional in Franklin v. The United Railways and Electric Company of Baltimore. By May 1904, the accounts of the Fund were closed by the State Insurance Commissioner. Thereafter, the State Workers' Compensation Commission organized as the State Industrial Accident Commission in 1914 (Chapter 800, Acts of 1914). It was renamed the Workmen's Compensation Commission in 1957 (Chapter 584, Acts of 1957) and, as of January 1, 1986, the Workers' Compensation Commission. By enactment of the new Labor and Employment Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, the Commission became the State Workers' Compensation Commission in 1991 (Chapter 8, Acts of 1991).

The Commission administers the Maryland Workers' Compensation Act, and adjudicates claims for compensation arising under that law (Code Labor and Employment Article, secs. 9-101 through 9-1201). Reports of accidents are received and processed by the Commission which conducts hearings of contested workers' compensation cases throughout the State. Claimants requiring rehabilitation are referred by the Commission to appropriate rehabilitation service providers.

Employers who fail to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage are assessed penalties by the Commission. For employers who wish to be self-insured in the State, the Commission is responsible for approving them, and for monitoring their activities and financial solvency.

In accordance with State law, all of the Commission's expenditures, as well as certain programs within the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, are funded by assessments billed to insurance companies that issue workers' compensation insurance policies, and to companies that self-insure for workers' compensation coverage.

Appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent, the Commission's ten members serve twelve-year terms. The Governor names the chair (Code Labor and Employment Article, secs. 9-301 through 9-316).

The Commission is aided by the Advisory Committee on the Registration of Rehabilitation Practitioners, and the Medical-Fee Guide Revision Committee.

ADMINISTRATION

Under Administration, work of the Commission is carried on by three offices: Finance; Information Technology; and Operations.

FINANCE
Finance oversees four divisions: Fiscal Services; Insurance, Compliance, and Reporting; Personnel; and Processing.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Under Information Technology are three sections: Computer Operations, Web, and Internet Services; Network Support and Office Automation; and Software Development and Programming.

OPERATIONS
Operations is responsible for three divisions: Court Reporting; Hearings; and Support Services.

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