Washington D.C. workers' comp 101

What do Washington D.C. small business owners need to know about workers’ compensation?

Starting a small business is the dream of millions of people across the country. The ability to create your schedule and the financial freedom of being a business owner often outweigh the risks that come with starting a small business. However, there is more to running a successful business than just your product and services. 

If you’re considering becoming an entrepreneur and currently reside in Washington D.C, you’ll need to ensure you have the proper small business insurance.  

While it’s highly recommended that you carry coverages such as general liability and commercial auto insurance, you’ll be required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance if you have at least one employee. 

The following 10 facts will help you understand the workers’ compensation rules and regulations for Washington D.C. small businesses.

10 essential facts about workers’ comp insurance in Washington D.C.

  • Workers’ compensation insurance offers protection to employees and employers by covering the financial burden associated with the treatment costs, disability benefits, and lost wages stemming from a workplace injury.
  • Since a significant number of people work for the government in Washington D.C, it’s important to note that workers’ comp isn’t required for public employees working for the government and employees performing services for a Congress member.
  • Domestic workers in a private home setting that work more than 240 hours during any quarter throughout the year must be covered by workers’ comp insurance.
  • Injured employees have 30 days to submit form 7 – Employee’s Notice of Accidental Injury or Occupational Disease to their employer.
  • Independent contractors and sole proprietors are not required to obtain workers’ compensation unless they have employees.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance provides some or all of the following benefits to injured employees:
    • Temporary and permanent total disability
    • Temporary and permanent partial disability
    • Vocational rehabilitation
    • Funeral and death benefits
    • Medical costs and expenses, including surgery, tests and other treatments
  • Small business owners who do not obtain the appropriate workers’ comp coverage could be subject to a $10,000 fine and could be held personally liable for injuries on the job.
  • If an injured employee wishes to file for a settlement, they must do so with The District of Columbia Office of Workers’ Compensation
  • Corporate officers and LLC members may elect for exemption from workers’ comp if they choose.
  • If an employee’s injury is a result of drug use, alcohol, or personal negligence, their workers’ compensation claim could be denied.

Remember, every situation is different and state workers’ compensation laws are subject to change, so be sure to do your research and speak with a trusted advisor.

Thanks for reading! Please note that this content is intended for educational purposes only. As laws change regularly, you should refer to your state legislation and/or an advisor for specific legal counsel. If you’re a small business owner, learn more about workers’ compensation insurance or check your current rate in 3 minutes.

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