Maine Employee Rights Group Maine Employee Rights Group
  • Thank you for all your help on [AW's] case. Without you, nothing would have come from it. We will be sending people your way. We hope that we will not need your help again, but if we do you will be hearing from us.”

    - J.W., East Machias.

Workers’ Compensation: Speaking the Language

  • Average Weekly Wage: The average amount of money you earned each week for the 52 weeks prior to your injury. Special rules apply to employees who customarily work less than 26 weeks per year, or who work in certain kinds of jobs. Fringe benefits may also be included in your average weekly wage.
  • Compensation Rate: For injuries occurring prior to January 1, 2013, the compensation rate equals 80% of the injured workers’ average weekly wage after taxes have been taken out. For injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2013, the compensation rate equals 2/3 of the injured workers’ average weekly wage.
  • Compensable: The word compensable can describe an injury that is related to work. It can also describe a medical bill or a claim for lost wages that your employer must pay.
  • First Report: A written report prepared by an employer after a worker reports an injury. The report must be completed within 7 days after you notify your employer of an injury. Your employer must give you a copy.
  • Health Care Provider: A doctor, nurse, chiropractor, physical therapist or other person who provides medical treatment.
  • Hearing Officer: An employee of the Workers’ Compensation Board. Hearing Officers hold hearings and write decisions that resolve disputes between workers and employers.
  • Insurer: An insurance company that pays workers’ compensation claims for employers. Insurers also represent employers when disagreements occur between workers and employers.
  • Lost Time: The amount of time an employee has missed from work because of an injury.
  • Lost Wages: Earnings an employee loses because of an injury.
  • Mediator: An employee of the Workers’ Compensation Board. Mediators hold conferences to help injured workers, insurers and employers voluntarily resolve disputes.
  • Memorandum of Payment: Often called a “MOP.” A form sent from an insurer to an injured worker and the workers’ Compensation Board to notify the worker that a payment for lost time was made.
  • Notice: When you tell your employer that you are injured and that your injury is related to your job, you give notice of your injury. For injuries occurring before January 1, 2013, you must give notice of your injury to your employer within 90 days of your injury. For injuries occurring after January 1, 2013, you must give notice within 30 days.
  • Notice of Controversy: Often called a “NOC”. A form sent from an employer to an injured worker and the Workers’ Compensation Board to let an injured worker know that the employer is denying their request for benefits.
  • Payment without prejudice: Your employer may pay you benefits without being certain that your injury is related to work. These payments are made without prejudice. In other words, they are voluntary.
  • Petition: A written request by a party asking that a hearing officer hold a formal hearing. Common petitions include:
  • Statute of limitations: If you are injured at work, there is a time limit within which you must file a claim. This is called the statute of limitations. If you do not file a petition or receive workers’ compensation benefits within 2 years of your injury, you may lose your right to claim benefits in the future.
  • Troubleshooter: An employee of the Workers’ Compensation Board. Troubleshooters resolve disputes between workers and employers and provide assistance and information to parties who use the workers’ compensation system.
  • Weekly compensation benefits: If you miss time from work because of an injury, you will receive benefits to replace some of your lost wages. These payments are called weekly compensation benefits.