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District Of Columbia Workers' Compensation Legal Library


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§ 32-1505. Commencement of compensation; maximum compensation.

(a) No compensation shall be allowed for the first 3 days of the disability, except the benefits provided for in § 32-1507; provided, that in case the injury results in disability of more than 14 days the compensation shall be allowed from the date of the disability.

(b) Compensation for disability or death shall not exceed the average weekly wages of insured employees in the District of Columbia or $396.78, whichever is greater. For any one injury causing temporary or permanent partial disability, the payment for disability benefits shall not continue for more than a total of 500 weeks. Within 60 days of the expiration of the duration of the compensation provided for in this subsection, an employee may petition the Mayor for an extension of up to 167 weeks. The extension shall be granted only upon a finding by an independent medical examiner appointed by the Mayor of continued whole body impairment exceeding 20% under the American Medical Association's Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. An injured employee shall have up to 3 years after termination of nonscheduled benefits to re-open his or her case due to changes in condition.

Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment

(c) The minimum compensation for total disability or death shall be 25% of the maximum compensation.

(d) For the purposes of this section, the average weekly wage of insured employees in the District shall be determined by the Mayor as follows:

(1) For the calendar year 2013, the average weekly wage rate is set at $1,416.00.

(2) For years commencing after January 1, 2013, on or before November 1st of each preceding year, the total wages reported on contribution reports for employees, excluding employees of the District government and the United States government, to the Department of Employment Services for the year ending on the preceding June 30th shall be divided by the average number of such employees (determined by dividing the sum of total employees reported in each quarter for the preceding year, excluding employees of the District government and the United States government, by 4). The average annual wage thus obtained shall be divided by 52 and the average weekly wage thus determined rounded to the nearest cent. The average weekly wage as so determined shall be applicable for the year beginning the following January 1.

(e) The average weekly wage shall not be deemed to have changed for any calendar year unless the computation in subsection (d) of this section results in an increase or decrease of $2 or more, raised to the next even dollar.


(July 1, 1980, D.C. Law 3-77, § 6, 27 DCR 2503; Apr. 16, 1999, D.C. Law 12-229, § 2(c), 46 DCR 891; Dec. 24, 2013, D.C. Law 20-61, § 2052, 60 DCR 12472.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 36-305.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 32-1506.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-61 rewrote (d).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2052 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-130, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11384, 20 DCSTAT 1827).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2052 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-204, October 17, 2013, 60 DCR 15341, 20 DCSTAT 2311).

Short Title

Section 2051 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that Subtitle F of Title II of the act may be cited as the "Workers' Compensation Average Weekly Wage Calculation Alignment Amendment Act of 2013".

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-61: Section 11001 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that, except as otherwise provided, the act shall apply as of October 1, 2013.




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