Washington, D.C., Workers Compensation Laws Include Benefits, Limitations

By Peter DePaolis

All employers in Washington, D.C., are required by law to carry worker’s compensation insurance coverage for their employees. Worker’s compensation insurance is insurance that financially protects an employer in the case that an employee becomes eligible to receive such benefits. Employers in D.C. may carry the insurance through a private insurer, or they may be self insured. In order for an employee to be covered under a company’s worker’s compensation insurance coverage, he must work at least 240 hours during the given business quarter.

When an employee is injured on the job in Washington, D.C., he is eligible for full medical benefits. There are no limits, under Washington, D.C., law regarding how much the medical expenses can be or for how long medical care is needed. When such medical treatment is necessary, the employer chooses the physician from a worker’s compensation list of medical practitioners.

An employee hurt on the job who is unable to return to work immediately is eligible to receive either temporary total disability benefits or permanent total disability benefits. These payments are based on a percentage of the worker’s typical wages. Temporary total disability benefits can only be paid for 500 weeks. Permanent total disability benefits can be paid for the total duration of the injury.

Paid benefits

The amount of benefits paid under Washington, D.C. worker’s compensation claims vary from case to case. Typical payments include:

  • Medical costs
  • Disability pay
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Death benefits for survivors

In addition, payments may be made for vocational rehabilitation in the event that a worker needs to be retrained for work as part of physical therapy. Vocational rehabilitation makes entering the work place once again easier for the worker. Death benefits are paid to the families of those workers killed on the job, as many families counted on income from the deceased family member to pay bills and raise children.

Worker’s compensation attorney

A qualified Washington, D.C., worker’s compensation attorney can be hired by those who are injured on the job to fight for their rights. An experienced Washington, D.C., worker’s compensation lawyer investigates claims of job injuries and puts the client’s best case forward when an employer is against paying a claim or when pressuring an employee to return to work prematurely.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.