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Frequently Asked Accident Leave Questions

(Updated Feb - 2016)      [Expand all]     [Collapse all]

Frequently Asked Questions: Accident Leave - pdf

1: What type of leave is an employee allowed to use when injured on the job?

A:
- For most State agencies, an employee who sustains an on- the job injury and has an absence due to the injury should be placed on ACCIDENT LEAVE until IWIF makes a determination with regard to compensability.

- An employee must use ACCIDENT LEAVE beginning on the first day of the disability and continuing until the day the employee is certified to return to work by a health care provider or 6 months from the day of the disability, whichever is earlier. (State Personnel & Pensions Article (SPP) §9-702).

     - Clarification: Any lost time from work as a result of an on-the-job injury should be
        coded as ACCIDENT LEAVE. If the injured worker leaves during work time for
        treatment or evaluation of the work injury, ACCIDENT LEAVE should be paid,
        regardless of whether the employee returns to work that day or not.

     - Exception is for the Maryland Department of Transportation, which allows the
        election of WORK INJURY LEAVE or sick leave.

- If an employee exhausts all available ACCIDENT LEAVE and provides medical certification that the employee is unable to return to work because of the work-related injury, an agency may permit an employee to use accrued leave or to receive Temporary Total benefits. (Office of Personnel Services & Benefits (OPSB) Accident Leave Policy, Section 10).

2: How is the Accident Leave pay calculated?

A: Payment to an employee for ACCIDENT LEAVE shall be based on two-thirds of the employee’s regular pay. (SPP §9-704).

3: Can an injured employee use personal or vacation leave rather than ACCIDENT LEAVE?

A: NO. ACCIDENT LEAVE is the appropriate leave to use for all work related injuries. (SPP §9-701). Any lost time from work as a result of an on-the job injury should be coded as ACCIDENT LEAVE, unless IWIF advises otherwise.

4: What if the claim is deemed not compensable?

A: If a Workers Compensation Commission order determines that the injury is not compensable, the appointing authority shall correct the employee’s leave record to reflect a conversion of ACCIDENT LEAVE, which was granted prior to notification of noncompensability, to leave with pay. If the employee does not have leave with pay, ACCIDENT LEAVE shall be converted to leave without pay. The employee shall reimburse the State for any leave advanced for an injury which is subsequently determined to be noncompensable. (OPSB Accident Leave Policy, Section 11).

5: How long can an employer extend ACCIDENT LEAVE past the six (6) months from the date of disability?

A: ACCIDENT LEAVE may be granted for up to an additional six (6) months if the employee is certified by a physician selected or accepted by the appointing authority; and no decision has been reached by the Workers Compensation Commission on the employee’s claim. (OPSB Accident Leave Policy, Section 8).

6: What happens after ACCIDENT LEAVE has been exhausted?

A: An injured employee may be entitled to Temporary Total benefits for loss of wages according to the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act only after all available ACCIDENT LEAVE has been used. (OPSB Accident Leave Policy, Section 14).

7: Will IWIF approve intermittent ACCIDENT LEAVE for office visits or physical therapy appointments after an injured employee has returned to work?

A: YES. After an employee returns to work, ACCIDENT LEAVE may be granted for continuing treatment as certified by a physician selected by the appointing authority up to 6 months from the day of the original disability. (OPSB Accident Leave Policy, Section 8).

8: How soon after the claim is reported will the employer be notified if the claim qualifies for ACCIDENT LEAVE? 

A: Once the investigation is completed regarding compensability, approval will be given within 3-5 business days. Prior to receipt of a determination of compensability from IWIF, an employee must be placed on ACCIDENT LEAVE unless there is a reasonable basis for believing the injury is noncompensable. (OPSB Accident Leave Policy, Section 10).

9: What should the employer do if the injured employee is released to return to work with restrictions that the employer cannot accommodate?

A: Contact IWIF to discuss the updated Leave request.

10: Is medical treatment scheduled outside of the employee’s regularly scheduled shift eligible for ACCIDENT LEAVE?

A: NO. An employee is not eligible for ACCIDENT LEAVE on a non-work day (i.e., non-scheduled work-day, furlough, etc). with the exception of holidays and Service Reduction Days that occur after July 1, 2011.

11: Are doctor status reports going to be sent directly to IWIF from Concentra? How can agencies ensure that IWIF receives updated medical documentation concerning an injured employee?

A: If an injured employee is sent to one of the Concentra Medical Centers for evaluation or treatment, Concentra will send a copy of the activity status reports directly to IWIF. If the employee is evaluated or treated at any other medical facility (i.e., hospital, personal physician, Concentra network site in outlying area, such as Health at Work in Hagerstown or Occupational Health Services in Salisbury), the agency must send the medical documentation to the IWIF Claims Adjuster.

12: If an employee holiday occurs while an employee is on ACCIDENT LEAVE, what payment is appropriate for the holiday?

A: An employee receiving ACCIDENT LEAVE during a period when an employee holiday occurs shall be paid the same rate as ACCIDENT LEAVE when the holiday occurs. Effective July 1, 2011, an employee on ACCIDENT LEAVE during a period when a Service Reduction Day occurs shall be paid the same rate as ACCIDENT LEAVE when the Service Reduction Day occurs.

13: Does an injured employee on ACCIDENT LEAVE or receiving Temporary Total Disability Payments accrue leave?

A: Yes, an employee continues to accrue leave while on ACCIDENT LEAVE or Temporary Total Disability Payments.

14: How should an on-the-job injury absence be handled if the absence qualifies for FMLA?

A: Absences resulting from on-the-job injuries that may qualify for FMLA should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Agencies are urged to discuss these cases with their Assistant Attorney General.

15: What happens if there is conflict between the medical opinion of the State Doctor and the Injured Employee’s Treating Physician?

A: When there is a conflict between the medical opinion of the employee’s Treating Physician and the opinion of a State Doctor (Concentra or an Independent Medical Examiner), agencies are directed to follow the opinion of the State Doctor. Conflicts of this nature occur frequently and are resolved by the Workers’ Compensation Commission.

16: What if the employee does not come to work after a State Doctor indicates the Employee is able to report to duty?

A: If a State Doctor releases an employee to return to work but the employee refuses, any continuing absence as a result of the on-the-job injury should be recorded as leave without pay. (LWOP). If the employee indicates an inability to return to work because of unresolved medical issues resulting from the on-the-job injury, the employee should be referred to the designated occupational medical provider for further medical evaluation. Agencies are advised to consult with the IWIF claims adjuster BEFORE placing an employee on leave without pay following an on-the-job injury, regardless of the circumstances. It is possible that the employee’s medical condition has changed and additional ACCIDENT LEAVE may be appropriate.   

17: Can an employee who has returned to work use flex time for subsequent medical appointments?

A: After an injured employee has returned to work, it is permissible to allow the employee to work flex time to attend a medical appointment during the employee’s work day, provided the operations of the agency are not adversely affected.





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