eNotes: Workers’ Compensation – September 2022 – Washington, DC
September 27, 2022
SIGNIFICANT LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
DC Passes Emergency Legislation for Workers’ Comp ‘Parity’ Resolution
Lawmakers introduced a Resolution, which proposes to amend DC workers’ compensation so that a claimant may receive benefits under the DC comp system even if they have already received benefits in a different jurisdiction. Up until now, the Act has been strictly interpreted that an injured worker is barred from bringing a DC claim if they have received compensation under the laws of any other state. This Resolution was introduced as Act A24-0453, and signed by the Mayor as emergency legislation AC 24-495. It will take effect on September 21, 2022, and will be valid until May 4, 2023 unless made permanent.
Under the new legislation, the employer/carrier would not be able to contest DC benefits because of benefits received in another state. However, the employer/carrier would nevertheless be entitled to a credit for payment received in any other state.
The legislation “applies to all claims under this Act that are pending” as of June 7, and all claims filed after that. It is ambiguous how this will be applied. For instance, if a DC claim is filed now – secondary to a claim under which the injured worker has already received benefits in another state – and an award is not given until after the expiration of the statute, it is unclear if the law will apply.
If permanent legislation were to be passed, we would see a substantial increase in DC claims, for claimants seeking to recover additional benefits from within the District.
Any questions regarding this case can be addressed to Mike Bliley, Esquire, at (571) 464-0435 or firstname.lastname@example.org.