How Long Does It Take to Get Workers Comp In Washington D.C.?

How Long Does It Take To Get Workers' Compensation In Washington D.C.?

For employees who have sustained work-related injuries or illnesses, workers’ compensation acts as an essential safety net during their recovery. It helps to alleviate financial strain by replacing lost wages and covering medical costs associated with work injury or illness. In Washington D.C., the process of receiving these benefits can vary based on several factors.

Knowing what variables might influence the timing is important for managing expectations and planning for your financial needs while you are in the process of claiming workers’ comp benefits.

Timing and Notification for Workers’ Comp in Washington, D.C.

A key factor affecting how long it takes to receive workers’ compensation benefits is how promptly you notify your employer about the injury or illness. In Washington D.C., you are given 30 days to report a work-related condition. However, sooner really is better; notifying your employer immediately can prevent delays in processing the claim, making it so that you may receive benefits more quickly.

By being proactive with your notification, it allows for a faster initiation of necessary evaluations for determining benefit eligibility.

Receiving Benefits Once Your Claim is Approved in Washington, D.C.

After your workers’ comp claim has been submitted and approved by the employer or their insurance carrier in Washington D.C., you can expect to receive your first benefit payment within 14 working days.

As long as a healthcare provider deems you medically unable to work, benefits should continue arriving every two weeks providing consistent support during the critical recovery period.

Review and Approval Timeline for Workers’ Comp Claims

The timeframe for a workers’ comp claim to be investigated and approved can vary widely based on various factors. Prompt filing, comprehensive documentation, and clear-cut circumstances relating to the injury or illness could lead to your case being approved in just a few weeks.

On the other hand, when you notify your employer about your injuries closer to the 30-day deadline, and if the issues are complicated – for example, you’ve needed multiple medical evaluations or have changed physicians – this could draw out the timeline further as each new piece of information invites more scrutiny from the insurer during their due diligence.

Addressing Unreasonable Delays in Workers’ Comp Payment in Washington, D.C.

In instances where the Office of Workers’ Compensation (OWC) identifies that an employer or insurance carrier has caused an unreasonable delay in payment and can prove there was bad faith involved, the employer is subject to additional penalties. Specifically, they will be required to pay you not just the compensation owed but also an amount equaling your actual weekly wages during the time when the payments were delayed.

(b) If the Mayor or court determines that an employer or carrier has delayed the payment of any installment of compensation to an employee in bad faith, the employer shall pay to the injured employee, for the duration of the delay, the actual weekly wage of the employee for the period that the employee is eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits under this chapter. The penalty shall be in addition to any amount paid pursuant to § 32-1515.

This rule serves as a deterrent against unjustified delays and assures protection for workers whose financial stability could be threatened by these long waits.

Navigating your workers’ comp claim can certainly feel overwhelming. If you’re facing difficulty or uncertainty with your workers’ compensation claim in Washington D.C., don’t go through it alone. Contact our experienced Washington D.C. workers’ comp lawyers today for a free consultation.