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Maine Workers' Compensation Laws

Maine may be home to some of the most beautiful autumn leaves and tastiest lobster, making tourism one of its largest industries, but you know that Maine is also home to a proud shipbuilding industry as well as the birthplace of a significant portion of our country's paper. Whether you prefer lobster mac and cheese or New England clam chowder, if you were injured at work in Maine, you will be thankful to learn that Maine workers' compensation laws are some of the most favorable to employees in the nation.

To learn more about Maine workers' comp laws, read the table and accompanying summaries below.

Statute Section

Title 39-A

Benefit Time Limits

§204

  • No compensation for first 7 days of disability
  • Disability must last more than 14 days for payment for first 7 days

Benefit Limits

  • Amount: Yes (§211)
  • Duration: Yes, in most cases (§213)

Filing Time Limits

§905

  • 60 days to notify employer
  • 1 year to file a claim

Choice of Doctor

§206

  • After the first 10 days of treatment, yes

Mental Injuries Covered

§201(3), §212(2)(F)

  • Yes, in specific circumstances

Job Protection

  • Yes, for witness and claimants (§353)
  • Yes, at employee's request (§218)

Coverage

Like many other states, Maine does not require employers of most domestic or agricultural workers to cover their employees with workers' comp insurance. For the majority of employees, employers are required to cover most injuries and diseases which occur in the course of employment. Unfortunately, disability or death due to silicosis is covered in just a few circumstances.

Mental Injuries

Mental injuries are covered in specific circumstances, but not injuries that result from any disciplinary action, work evaluation, job transfer, layoff, demotion, termination, or any similar action taken in good faith by the employer. This means that if you begin to suffer serious anxiety after you are promoted and you seek medical treatment for that anxiety, it is unlikely that workers' compensation insurance would cover your medical treatment. However, Maine is one of the few states which lists "incurable insanity or imbecility" on its list of injuries which result in a presumption of total incapacity.

Benefits

Injured workers are entitled to wage replacement and medical treatment benefits. Wage replacement is equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wages, subject to a maximum equal to 90 percent of the Maine average weekly wage. In most cases, you may receive partial incapacity compensation for a maximum of 520 weeks. Once you have sufficiently recovered and you are able to return to work, you are entitled to reinstatement into your former position. But if that is not available, the employer must reinstate you into any other position suitable to any physical limitations your doctor might order. Maine is incredibly protective of employee's rights in this regard, however this provision does not apply if your previous position was a supervisory or confidential position.

Dispute Resolution

If your claim is denied or you disagree with your benefits award, you may initiate Maine's dispute resolution process. The process includes three tiers: troubleshooting, mediation, and formal hearing. Throughout this process you will need to present evidence supporting your position. This evidence might include your doctor's diagnosis, for proving the extent of your disability; your wage stubs, for proving your average weekly wage; and/or testimony from your fellow employees, for proving the objective level of work stress you suffered. Maine even protects employees who testify in employer retaliation claims.

Obtain a Free Claim Evaluation from a Maine Attorney

Work-related injuries can leave you with the inability to work and piles of bills -- but your employer is required to carry special insurance coverage to protect you from such events. Whether you suffered a mental or physical injury, navigating Maine's objective standards and maximums on compensation can be tough. If you suffered a work-related injury and need skilled legal advice, or if you recovered from an injury but your employer is refusing to reinstate you, have a Maine attorney evaluate your claim for free.

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