Workers’ Comp. 101: D.C. Coverage Basics

20 Nov, 2023 Frank Ferreri


Washington, DC ( -- If you wanted to get down to basics, you might want to start with what's covered.

In case you want to know the basics are for coverage in the District of Columbia, the following information spells it out.

In D.C. The injury or death of an employee that occurs in the District of Columbia if the employee performed work for the employer, at the time of the injury or death, while in the District of Columbia.

Outside of D.C. The injury or death of an employee that occurs outside the District of Columbia if, at the time of the injury or death, the employment was localized principally in the District of Columbia.

Other States. Notwithstanding any other law, the payment or award of compensation under the workers' compensation law of any other state to an employee or his dependent shall not bar a claim for compensation in D.C. for the same injury or death, provided, that any such award of compensation shall be reduced by the amount of compensation received or awarded under the workers' compensation law of any other state.

Casual Employees. Coverage does not apply if the employee injured or killed was a casual employee except that casual, occasional, or incidental employment outside of the District of Columbia by a District of Columbia employer of an employee regularly employed by the employer within the District of Columbia shall be construed to be employment within the District of Columbia.

Intermittent Work. An employee and his employer who are not residents of the District of Columbia and whose contract of hire is entered into in another state shall be exempted from coverage while the employee is temporarily or intermittently within the District of Columbia doing work for the nonresident employer, if the employer has furnished workers’ compensation insurance coverage under the workers’ compensation or similar laws of the other state, so as to cover such employee’s employment while in the District of Columbia. The benefits of Washington, D.C. or similar laws of the other state shall be the exclusive remedy against the employer for any injury, whether resulting in death or not, received by the employee while working for such employer in the District of Columbia.

No Fault. Employers shall be liable for compensation for injury or death without regard to fault as a cause of the injury or death.

Subcontractors. In the case of an employer who is a subcontractor, the contractor shall be liable for and shall secure the payment of such compensation to employees of the subcontractor unless the subcontractor has secured such payment.

Intoxication/Willful Intention. Liability for compensation shall not apply where injury to the employee was occasioned solely by his intoxication or by his willful intention to injure or kill himself or another.

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    About The Author

    • Frank Ferreri

      Frank Ferreri, M.A., J.D. covers workers' compensation legal issues. He has published books, articles, and other material on multiple areas of employment, insurance, and disability law. Frank received his master's degree from the University of South Florida and juris doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Frank encourages everyone to consider helping out the Kind Souls Foundation and Kids' Chance of America.

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