• Choose Language:
  • print
  • decrease text sizeincrease text size
    text

Your Rights Filing a Workers Compensation Claim - District of Columbia

Advertisement: Workplace Fairness

This page provides answers to the following questions:

  1. I had an accident at work. How do I file a workers compensation claim in DC?
  2. Should my employer have workers compensation insurance? How do I know I am covered?
  3. What are the conditions that enable me or prevent me from claiming benefits under my state's law?
  4. What benefits might I be eligible to recieve?
  5. How much time do I have to file my claim? What are the stages of the claim process? What should I expect?
  6. If I'm not happy with the determination, how do I appeal?

Washington, DC Department of Employment Services – Workers’ Compensation Program

1. I had an accident at work. How do I file a workers compensation claim in DC?

You must report your injury to your employer and the Office of Workers’ Compensation with 30 of the injury or knowledge of the injury by filing DCWC Form 7.

Within one year of the injury, you must file a claim on DCWC Form 7A in order to preserve your rights to works compensation benefits.

If your employer denies your request for compensation, you can request an informal conference with a claims examiner who will issue an informal conference recommendation within 30 days, or you can request a formal hearing by filing an Application for Formal Hearing.

2. Should my employer have workers compensation insurance? How do I know I am covered? 

Any employer in Washington, DC that has at least one employee is required to have workers compensation insurance.

3. What are the conditions that enable me or prevent me from claiming benefits under my state’s law? 

The injury must have been accidental and there must have been at least a causal relationship between the injury and the condition of the employment. Any intentional, self-inflicted injuries will not be compensated. The cause of the injury does not have to be unexpected or accidental, only the injury itself.

4. What benefits might I be eligible to receive? 

You are eligible to receive 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage and have 100% of your medical expenses paid. Average weekly wage is determined using your average weekly wage during the 26 weeks before the injury. The maximum weekly rate is $1,466.29 and the minimum rate is $366.57.

Additionally, employers must provide vocational rehabilitation and assist you with finding suitable alternative employment.

If a work-related injury results in death, the surviving spouse and the children of the employee are entitled to death benefits and may be able to receive funeral expenses up to $5,000. If the employee had neither spouse nor children, a dependent parent may be entitled to 25% of the wages earned during the dependence.

5. How much time do I have to file my claim? What are the stages of the claim process? What should I expect?

You must report your injury to your employer and the Office of Workers’ Compensation with 30 of the injury or knowledge of the injury by filing DCWC Form 7. Within one year of the injury, you must file a claim on DCWC Form 7A in order to preserve your rights to works compensation benefits. An employer must file a DCWC Form 8 no later than 10 days after learning of an employee injury. Compensation is not paid for the first 3 days of disability unless disability exceeds 14 days. You may choose your own physician, but once you choose you may not change the physician unless you get approval from your employer’s insurance company or the Office of Workers’ Compensation.

6. If I’m not happy with the determination, how do I appeal?

If you are unhappy, you can request an informal conference with a claims examiner who will issue an informal conference recommendation within 30 days or you can request a formal hearing by filing an Application for Formal Hearing.

If you are unhappy after a formal hearing, you can request a review by the Compensation Review Board.