It is an unfortunate reality that accidents and illnesses can happen while at work. When this happens, injured employees may be unable to return to work for a period of time or even indefinitely. This can often cause them to worry about how they will be able to make ends meet. It is because of this that Washington D.C. offers workers’ compensation. This is a no-fault system that exists to provide compensation for an injured employee’s medical bills, lost wages, and permanent impairments that result from the workplace incident. In order to receive this compensation, there are certain steps the employee is required to take in accordance with the law.
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
When an employee is injured at work, it is important that they report their injuries to their employer within 30 days of their injury or within 30 days of realizing the injuries are work-related. Once this is done, there are certain steps that must be taken in order to complete the process. This includes the following:
- Report the job-related injury or illness to an employer
- Report the job-related injury or illness in writing to the Office of Workers’ Compensation within 30 days
- Complete the DCWC Form 7. This can be obtained from an employer, insurance carrier, or the Office of Workers’ Compensation
- Keep a copy of the completed forms, file a copy with the employer and send the original to the Office of Workers’ Compensation
- The DCWC Form 7A must be filed within one year of the occurrence. This can also be obtained from an employer, insurance carrier, or the Office of Workers’ Compensation.
Claim Denials & Appeals
It is important to know that if a workers’ compensation claim is denied, the decision can be appealed. This can be done with the District of Columbia Administrative Hearings Division. The first step in filing for an appeal is requesting an informal conference. During this time, the employee and their insurance company meet with the claims examiner. The examiner listens to both sides and issues a written recommendation within 30 days. However, this recommendation is not binding. If either party disagrees, they can request a formal hearing.
In order for a formal hearing to be requested, either party must file an application, attach a copy of their claim form, and sign the document. This must be filed with the Administrative Hearings Division. Once the request is received, an in-person hearing is scheduled before a workers’ compensation judge. During the hearing, each party can question witnesses, submit documents, and make legal arguments. The judge can then make a written decision to mail to each party. This decision can also be appealed to the Compensation Review Board within 30 days to have the hearing reviewed for a further decision.
Contact our Firm
If you have become the victim of an on the job injury, it may be beneficial to speak with an attorney and the doctor that is treating you to determine how to make the process as easy as possible. AllianceMeds understands that a workplace accident can be challenging and is here to help. We will deliver your medication to your door using overnight delivery and cover any out of pocket expenses that may arise. If you have any questions about how we can help, contact AllianceMeds today.