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Archive: 2008

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February NOTICES

 

The Commission is closed Monday, February 18, 2008 in observance of Presidents' Day.
No telephone or email support is available.  We will open for business at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, February 19, 2008.

See our Inclement Weather Policy for information on cancellations at WCC hearing sites.

February 8The Request for Document Correction, form C90R is revised. Instructions for use of the form are replaced with clarification on the appropriate use of the form.  The new version and the clarification of the form's use are effective immediately.  The form is located on our Forms & Instructions page.
February 5

IVR Update
The Commission is in the process of implementing upgrades to its (telephone-based) Interactive Voice Response System.  During this period of transition the system will respond with only the first two letters of the claimant's last name, rather than the claimant's full name when a Workers' Compensation Commission Claim Number is entered as a search parameter.  All other features will remain unchanged.

We
anticipate having the upgrade completed promptly and appreciate your patience during this process.

February 1

WFMS ONLINE SERVICES UPDATE – Security Measures
The Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission is primarily a forum for the adjudication of disputed workers' compensation claims.  The Commission's customers, the claimant and the workers' compensation community, are its priority.  Both Federal and State law and regulation impose requirements for the protection of personally identifiable information and the Commission has a fundamental responsibility to maintain claimant non-public information integrity and privacy.  Although access to medical records has always been restricted to the parties of a particular claim, the Commission continually strives to protect the integrity of the substantial volume of confidential information that it receives on a regular basis.  In particular, the electronic processes that the Commission has implemented are constantly evaluated for security and privacy issues that must be balanced with maintaining a user friendly environment.

The popularity of WFMS Online Services attests to its value in the resolution of disputed workers' compensation claims and dependent processes.  Due to several issues that have been raised regarding security and privacy, including the utilization of the system in contravention of the Terms of Service, the Commission finds it necessary to institute measures in an effort to meet its statutory and policy obligations while minimizing the inconvenience to legitimate users.  The Commission recognizes that there may be situations where the new requirements could cause additional burdens for system users.  Unfortunately more complex options could require a temporary discontinuation of the service and were therefore deemed an unacceptable alternative.

The Commission is gathering the incoming responses on this topic for review of all concerns conveyed by our customers, all of which will be thoroughly reviewed and every effort made to promptly incorporate those concerns into the most responsible resolution possible.  In the interim, following please find several "Tips" that may maximize the use of our Online Services.

WILDCARDS*
All name input via Online Services allows the use of "wildcard" query to alleviate the impact of misspelled names, transpositions or very long names.  The wildcard search requires three letters of the name and can be preceded or followed by an asterisk (*).  For example, a hyphenated last name: Smith-Johnson can be entered as smi*.  This function will still be supported with the dual-data input.

COMMUNICATION
The Commission has found the interaction with its customers invaluable in identifying and correcting misfiled documents, duplicative claims and other conflicting elements or information.  When a user encounters a claim that may display incorrect information or have information conflicting with that conveyed on the claim's documents, we do encourage you to contact us with the specific information (claim number, error or issue description, document name/type, etc.) so that when possible we can update or correct the identified error or problem. 

The Commission appreciates WFMS System users' patience during this period of transition and welcomes their continued input in resolving this challenge together.

The Board of the Uninsured Employers’ Fund has requested that the Commission decrease to 1% the assessments under Labor and Employment Article §9-1007(b).  The Board has determined that the UEF Fund Balance is adequate to meet the anticipated losses on the remaining Bethlehem Steel claims. Therefore, effective February 1, 2008, the Commission will reduce the UEF assessment rate on permanency awards, death claims and settlement claims to 1%.