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Office of Workers' Compensation - DOES

The Workers' Compensation Program processes claims and monitors the payment of benefits to injured private-sector employees in the District of Columbia. The office mediates disputes between claimants and employers (or their insurance carriers) and monitors employers to ensure compliance with insurance coverage requirements.  The program administers the Special Fund, which provides benefits in cases of uninsured employers or in instances where an injury combines with a pre-existing disability to cause a substantially greater disability.  Also, the program approves lump-sum settlements, assesses penalties and fines for non-compliance with the law and monitors vocational rehabilitation.

Claims Processing Unit

Creates and manages workers’ compensation claims filed in the District, conducts informal and mediation conferences, issues compensation orders and approves or denies lump-sum settlement agreements and attorney fee petitions.

Special Fund Unit

Provides wage loss and medical payments to claimants in cases where an uninsured employer defaults on payments due to insolvency or other circumstances precluding payments. Provides reimbursements to self-insured employers and insurance carriers for compensation and medical payments associated with claims where a claimant with a pre-existing injury or disability receives a second injury which causes a substantially greater disability. The fund also arranges for independent medical evaluations and utilization reviews.

Compliance Unit

Investigates employers in cases of suspected non-compliance with insurance coverage requirements and cases of suspected insurance fraud. Assesses and collects fines in cases of non-compliance with insurance coverage and reporting requirements.

Insurance Unit

Determines employer and carrier pro-rata shares for the Administration Fund assessments and issues assessment notices, monitors receipt of payments and submission of Quarterly Benefit Payment forms by employers and carriers. Approves/denies employer applications for authorization to be self-insured, determines annual Special Fund assessments, insurance premium surcharges and issues notices and monitors employer compliance with insurance coverage requirements.

Longshore & Harbor Unit

Handles all informal conferences, compensation orders, settlement agreements and prepares and refers disputed work-related injuries that occurred in the District of Columbia “private sector” prior to July 26, 1982, to the US Department of Labor.

Visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information on Workers’ Compensation or contact the following:

DC Department of Employment Services
Labor Standards Bureau
Office of Workers' Compensation
4058 Minnesota Avenue, NE, Third Floor
Washington, DC 20019
Phone: (202) 671-1000
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5 pm