Do Workers’ Compensation Payouts Differ in Each State?

By Peter DePaolis

You may know that if you are injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Nevertheless, did you know that each state has its own rules and regulations in place when it comes to moving forward with a claim? Your workers’ compensation can differ widely.

This is particularly true in the Virginia, Maryland and D.C. area. Remember, each state’s workers’ compensation procedure is different. If you are interested, we have an area on this page, where we discuss the differences and similarities between workers’ compensation claims in Virginia, Maryland and D.C.

For example, did you know that the statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim in D.C. is only one year, but is two years in Maryland and Virginia? Did you know that each state and the district has a different agency that you report your claim to?

Workers’ Compensation Differ in Each State

We bring up workers’ compensation and the differences between states and the district because recently ProPublica published an interesting story about how victims can end up with completely different amounts of money for injuries.

In the piece, ProPublica interviewed two men who lived 75 miles apart from each other, who were about the same age and were married. They both suffered similar injuries on the job, losing a portion of their arm in an accident. However, one man received just $45,000 in workers’ compensation for the loss of his arm, while the other man is expected to receive benefits that could surpass $740,000 over the course of his life.

Why is there such a drastic difference? Because one man was injured in Alabama and the other man was injured in Georgia, which has a far more generous workers’ compensation payout system for catastrophic injuries.

“This disparity grimly illustrates the geographic lottery that governs compensation for workplace injuries in America,” ProPublica reported. “Congress allows each state to determine its own benefits, with no federal minimums, so workers who live across state lines from each other can experience entirely different outcomes for identical injuries.”

Working with an Attorney on a Claim

How does this affect you? Well, if you live in Maryland and you lose your arm at work, the maximum payout that you could collect may be $301,600—far better than the national average of $169,878. However, if you lost that same arm in Virginia, your maximum payment may only be $193,400. If you are injured in D.C., the same arm may net you $342,305.

As all of this information shows, workers’ compensation law is very multifaceted. This is why working with an attorney may prove to be vital. An attorney may be able to assist you during any part of the claim process, from filing paperwork to understanding when your payments will stop.

For more information about workplace accidents and workers’ compensation, you can visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.

To view the ProPublica piece, you can click on the source link at the bottom of this post.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia Injury Attorneys


About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.