- The Commission shall take
reasonable steps to provide a qualified interpreter at a
hearing to a hearing-impaired or limited English proficient
witness who makes a request within 10 days of the hearing
- The requesting party shall obtain a
reservation number from the Commission Interpreter Program
Office to receive interpreter service.
- The Commission shall pay the fee of
a qualified interpreter assigned by the Commission.
- Requesting attorneys may be
assessed the interpreter minimum fee if:
- A matter is resolved more than
2 days prior to the hearing; and
- The interpreter is not
Pursuant to COMAR 14.09.03.04 a
party requiring interpreter services for a witness with
limited English proficiency must, within ten (10) days of
the issuance of the notice containing the date, time and
location of the hearing,
contact the Commission’s
Interpreter Program Office ("IPO") and identify each
individual for whom an interpreter will be required. If
there are multiple witnesses requiring interpretation, it
may be necessary to schedule more than one interpreter to
facilitate the hearing. Interpreter services will not be
provided at the hearing for a previously unidentified
witness with limited English proficiency.
The Workers’ Compensation
Commission implemented the Interpreter Program in compliance with the Code
of Maryland Code, State Government § 10-1103 effective July 1,
2003. We have since provided interpreter services for witnesses
with limited English proficiency consistent with the policy
Commission PolicyConsistent with COMAR
14.09.03.04 (above) the Commission will provide interpreter
services at a hearing for any language when a qualified
interpreter is available. Individuals with limited English
proficiency requiring interpreter assistance for a hearing
(on/after July 1, 2003) must request such support within 10 days
of the date the hearing notice is issued.
This date is
located at the top of the hearing notice, under the page number
The Commission will not accept requests received after the 10
day time period. The Commission pays the cost of the service of
a qualified interpreter assigned by the Commission. Claimants,
witnesses and their attorneys wishing to use their own qualified
interpreter may do so at their own expense and with the
permission of the presiding Commissioner.
Contact the Interpreter Program Office by telephone, email or
written request (by USPS/mail). When making the
request, provide the claimant’s name, claim number, date and
location of hearing as well as the requesting party (your) name
and telephone number. Effective February 1, 2005, requesting
parties receive a reservation number by telephone within one
business day after the day the request is received by the
Commission. This reservation number must be brought to the
hearing. If a request has been made and an individual has not
received a reservation number within two business days, please
contact the Interpreter Program Office and provide the date and
time of the request along with the claimant name, claim number,
date and location of hearing. If the requesting party does not
have a reservation number for a hearing, an interpreter will not
Click this link for Interpreter Services contact information.
Frequently Asked Questions|
Q. Who is considered limited English proficient as it relates to
a hearing before the Commission?
A. A limited English proficient individual is a person who
is unable to speak, read, write or understand the English
language at a level that permits him or her to understand and
communicate effectively in a hearing before the Commission.
Q. What languages are available to witnesses through the
Commission's Interpreter Program?
Commission provides Interpreter Program support for any language
wherein a qualified interpreter is available. In addition to a
staff interpreter, the Commission uses several approved
contractors who provide interpreter services in a wide variety
there a charge for this service?
A. The Commission
pays for this service only if the Commission arranges for the
interpreter. If an attorney representing either party chooses to
bring their own court-certified interpreter, the Commission will
not pay for this service. The Commissioner scheduled to hear the
case must approve the use of an interpreter if it has not been
secured by the Interpreter Program Office.
Q. How are requests for interpreter services made?
A. Requests for an interpreter can be made by telephone, email
or written request by mail. Parties must
request such support within 10 days from the date that the
hearing notice is issued. This date is located at the top of
the hearing notice, below the page number indicator.
The Commission will not honor requests received after that date.
We will accept requests from claimants, witnesses and their
What if the hearing is cancelled or continued and then
A. The Interpreter Program Office at
the Commission should be contacted immediately when a hearing is
continued so that the interpretive services may be cancelled in
a timely manner. If a hearing is rescheduled and an interpreter
is still needed, you must again request an interpreter for the
rescheduled hearing date. A new reservation number will be
provided. The Commission will not reschedule an interpreter for
a hearing without a new request.
Q. Is the interpreter briefed on the case issues and does he/she
talk to the person needing assistance before the hearing?
A. It is expected that the interpreter will meet the person
needing assistance before the hearing and explain how the
hearing process works with an interpreter and how they should
interact with each other during the hearing. The interpreter is
not to discuss or be briefed on the issues to be discussed in
the hearing. The interpreter’s role is solely to provide
verbatim interpretation on what is said by the parties at the
hearing. Interpreters are instructed to interpret only the
spoken word, and under no circumstance, speak for the witness.
Q. What is the best way to find out the status of a claim or
A. Because many cases are settled or stipulated before hearing,
claimants should contact their attorney first to obtain the most
up-to-date information on a scheduled hearing. The Commission’s
automated telephone system provides hearing status on all cases.
The system can be accessed at 410-864-5100 and selecting option
“2” from the menu.
Q. What if an interpreter is no longer needed?
A. Call the Interpreter Program Office
(410-864-5299) immediately so that the
interpretive services may be cancelled in a timely manner.
Q. When will my claim be scheduled for hearing?
Interpreter Program cases are set in the same manner as all
other cases. On occasion, a hearing involving Interpreter
Program individuals may need to be continued and rescheduled in
order to provide adequate time for the case to be heard.
Telephone: (410) 864-5299
Address: Workers’ Compensation Commission
Interpreter Program Office
10 E. Baltimore Street
Baltimore, Md. 21202