Maine Revised Statutes

§205. Benefit payment

1. Prompt and direct payment.  Compensation under this Act must be paid promptly and directly to the person entitled to that compensation at the employee's mailing address, or where the employee designates, without an award, except in cases when there is an ongoing dispute.
[ 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF) .]
2. Time for payment.  The first payment of compensation for incapacity under section 212 or 213 is due and payable within 14 days after the employer has notice or knowledge of the injury or death, on which date all compensation then accrued must be paid. Subsequent incapacity payments must be made weekly and in a timely fashion. Every insurance carrier, self-insured and group self-insurer shall keep a record of all payments made under this Act and of the time and manner of making the payments and shall furnish reports, based upon these records, to the board as it may reasonably require.
[ 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF) .]
3. Penalty for delay.  When there is not an ongoing dispute, if weekly compensation benefits or accrued weekly benefits are not paid by the employer or insurance carrier within 30 days after becoming due and payable, $50 per day must be added and paid to the worker for each day over 30 days in which the benefits are not paid. Not more than $1,500 in total may be added pursuant to this subsection. For purposes of ratemaking, daily charges paid under this subsection do not constitute elements of loss. For purposes of this subsection, "employer or insurance carrier" includes the Maine Insurance Guaranty Association under Title 24-A, chapter 57, subchapter 3.
[ 2009, c. 129, §5 (AMD); 2009, c. 129, §13 (AFF) .]
4. Payment of bills for medical or health care services.  When there is no ongoing dispute, if bills for medical or health care services are not paid within 30 days after the carrier has received notice of nonpayment by certified mail from the provider of the medical or health care services or, if the bill was paid by the employee, from the employee who paid for the medical or health care services, $50 or the amount of the bill due, whichever is less, must be added and paid to the provider of the medical or health care services or, if the bill was paid by the employee, to the employee who paid for the medical or health care services for each day over 30 days in which the bills for medical or health care services are not paid. Not more than $1,500 in total may be added pursuant to this subsection. For purposes of this subsection, "carrier" includes the Maine Insurance Guaranty Association under Title 24-A, chapter 57, subchapter 3.
[ 2009, c. 129, §6 (AMD); 2009, c. 129, §13 (AFF) .]
5. Employer failure to provide notice.  An employer who has notice or knowledge of the disability or death and fails to give notice to the carrier shall pay the penalty provided for in subsection 3 for the period during which the employer failed to notify the carrier.
[ 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF) .]
6. Interest.  When weekly compensation is paid pursuant to an award, interest on the compensation must be paid at the rate of 10% per annum from the date each payment was due, until paid.
[ 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF) .]
7. Memorandum of payment.  Upon making the first payment of compensation for incapacity or upon making a payment of compensation for impairment, the employer shall immediately forward to the board a memorandum of payment on forms prescribed by the board. This information must include, at a minimum, the following:
A. The names of the employee, employer and insurance carrier; [1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF).]
B. The date of the injury; [1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF).]
C. The names of the employee's other employers, if any, or a statement that there is no multiple employment, if that is the case; and [1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF).]
D. The initial weekly compensation rate. [1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF).]
[ 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF) .]
8. Information.  Information regarding wages must be reported as provided in section 303.
[ 1999, c. 354, §3 (RPR) .]
9. Discontinuance or reduction of payments.  The employer, insurer or group self-insurer may discontinue or reduce benefits according to this subsection.
A. If the employee has returned to work with or has received an increase in pay from an employer that is paying compensation under this Act, that employer or that employer's insurer or group self-insurer may discontinue or reduce payments to the employee. [1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF).]
B. In all circumstances other than the return to work or increase in pay of the employee under paragraph A, if the employer, insurer or group self-insurer determines that the employee is not eligible for compensation under this Act, the employer, insurer or group self-insurer may discontinue or reduce benefits only in accordance with this paragraph.
(1) If no order or award of compensation or compensation scheme has been entered, the employer, insurer or group self-insurer may discontinue or reduce benefits by sending a certificate by certified mail to the employee and to the board, together with any information on which the employer, insurer or group self-insurer relied to support the discontinuance or reduction. The employer may discontinue or reduce benefits no earlier than 21 days from the date the certificate was mailed to the employee, except that benefits paid pursuant to section 212, subsection 1 or section 213, subsection 1 may be discontinued or reduced based on the amount of actual documented earnings paid to the employee during the 21-day period if the employer files with the board the documentation or evidence that substantiates the earnings and the employer only reduces or discontinues benefits for any week for which it possesses evidence of such earning. The certificate must advise the employee of the date when the employee's benefits will be discontinued or reduced, as well as other information as prescribed by the board, including the employee's appeal rights.
(2) If an order or award of compensation or compensation scheme has been entered, the employer, insurer or group self-insurer shall petition the board for an order to reduce or discontinue benefits and may not reduce or discontinue benefits until the matter has been resolved by a decree issued by an administrative law judge. The employer, insurer or group self-insurer may reduce or discontinue benefits pursuant to such a decree pending a motion for findings of fact and conclusions of law or pending an appeal from that decree. Upon the filing of a petition, the employer may discontinue or reduce the weekly benefits being paid pursuant to section 212, subsection 1 or section 213, subsection 1 based on the amount of actual documented earnings paid to the employee after filing the petition. The employer shall file with the board the documentation or evidence that substantiates the earnings and the employer may discontinue or reduce weekly benefits only for weeks for which the employer possesses evidence of such earnings. [2015, c. 297, §5 (AMD).]
C. The employee may file a petition for review, contesting the employer's discontinuance or reduction of compensation under this subsection. Regardless of whether the employee files a petition prior to the date of the discontinuance or reduction, benefits may be discontinued or reduced as described in paragraph A or B. [1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF).]
D. The board, within 21 days after the employee filed a petition for review, may enter an order providing for the continuation or reinstatement of benefits pending a hearing on the petition. The order must be based upon the information submitted by both the employer, insurer or group self-insurer and the employee under this subsection. Once a request for an order has been ruled upon, the matter may not be referred to mediation, but must be set for hearing. [1999, c. 354, §4 (AMD).]
E. In all cases under this subsection, the board shall provide for an expedited procedure that must be available upon request of any party. [1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF).]
F. If benefits have been discontinued or reduced pursuant to paragraph A or B and the board, after hearing, determines that benefits have been wrongfully withheld, the board shall order payment of all benefits withheld together with interest at the rate of 6% a year. The employer shall pay this amount within 10 days of the order. [1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 (NEW); 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §§9-11 (AFF).]
[ 2015, c. 297, §5 (AMD) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1991, c. 885, §A8 (NEW). 1991, c. 885, §§A9-11 (AFF). 1999, c. 354, §§3,4 (AMD). 2007, c. 218, §1 (AMD). 2009, c. 129, §§5, 6 (AMD). 2009, c. 129, §§13 (AFF). 2009, c. 280, §1 (AMD). 2009, c. 280, §2 (AFF). 2011, c. 647, §2 (AMD). 2015, c. 297, §5 (AMD).