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  • Worker's Comp Files Maryland

    How long do you need to keep Worker's Comp Files?

  • #2
    Just a thought, but you might want to give your WC carrier a call and ask them. Those folks are the experts on your state's WC requirements. This sort of thing is really state specific.

    Past that, unless you are talking about records that only a WC auditor is interested in, WC records could be a pretty big tent. Most general WC audits look to verify wages (meaning generic payroll records) and the WC classification (meaning generic HR records). Both of these types of generic records are subject to other regulatory authority. For example, most payroll records are subject to a federal DOL requirement of 2-3 years. HR record retention is much more complicated. There are something a dozen unrelated federal laws affecting HR records, each with it's own (different) rules). Fun times. Plus your state gets to impose their rules, and WC is one of the state specific rules.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      A worker's Comp claim is forever. After 5 years, if the claimant has not reopened the case for worsening, they are no longer entitled to indemnity but medical never goes away unless you settle.

      I am in MD and after 5 years of no activity, I scan in the files and shred the originals.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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      • #4
        In some states, ie. Calif, if the IW does not seek treatment for 18 months from the last payment of benefits...either indemnity, or medical care...the ER/IC may close the claim. Five years from org DOI would allow the IW to petition to reopen however.

        Some states have a two year SOL from the last payment of benefits/indemnity/medical..FL is one as I recall.

        The MD WC Commission is here http://www.wcc.state.md.us/
        Subtitle 9 is here http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/sub...spx#Subtitle09, as you can see, the further you dig into this WC business...the more confusing it can get.

        If you are an employer, self insured, you could check with your house counsel, or TPA/Third Party Administrator.
        If you are covered for work injury liability by a IC, check with the carrier.

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        • #5
          In MD, medical is until death do ye part. Trust me on that one. If you even suspect the injury played a role in the death, keep that ****** forever. I have seen 30+ year old claims before the Commission. One of the attorneys I work with had a claim that had been inactive for at least 15 years reopen. The employer was now closed, the IW retired, as were both the original attorneys on the claim and yet it is still a live claim. You also do not want to have to explain to the commission why you no longer have a file or records. The Commissioners get very cranky.

          By all means check with your carrier and or legal counsel and see if they keep full records for the ones that reach the litigation stage. I would however, still make sure I had my own file.
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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          • #6
            WC is state law only, and it is very common for state law to be all over the place. I have worked for companies whose carriers routinely provided training and answers as requested. Now this was CA and certainly could be different in other states. But if your carrier is willing to help with this, certainly at least ask them. On the other hand, most of my employers had employees in pretty much all states, and the HR people I talked to always said that their first source for these types of questions was to ask their carrier. I am normally on the payroll side of things, and my WC contact is mostly with the WC auditors. I can say that WC audits are similar but not the same. You talk to the specific state auditor, and they tell what THEIR state wants from you. I had a generally WC wage report that most WC auditors were fine with, but some of them had their own very specific requirements which required customized reports. No problem. I am good with reports, and a happy auditor is one that does not cause problems for me.

            Assume that both ElleMD and CAIW know what they are talking about (I do). Also assume that each state has it's own specific rules unrelated to every other state.
            "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
            Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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            • #7
              Thanks for all the useful information! I think that is a file I will keep forever!! Worker's comp is the one part of my job that I do not like!!!

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              • #8
                Eh, it grows on you. It is never dull I will tell you that much. If you are new to WC in MD, I highly recommend the following links http://www.fandpnet.com/data/files/3/472.pdf http://www.fandpnet.com/index.asp?content_id=745

                I don't work for them and I'm not recommending their professional services over others but their site does contain some very sound information that is of a general nature. I would also recommend visiting http://www.mwcea.com/ They sponsor a conference every September that is excellent.
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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