D.C. Council: Fix the Compensation System for Injured Public Workers
Over 2,000 injured D.C. government employees go through the Public Sector Workers Compensation Program each year. Disability benefits are intended to give injured government workers financial security when injured on the job and help them pay their medical care, rent, and other basic necessities. Unfortunately, due to a decade of poor administration an noncompliance, formerly middle-class injured workers have been driven into poverty.
The D.C. Council should act immediately and pass legislation to:
•Restore the great weight afforded to the opinions of treating physicians to ensure accurate medical assessments of injuries
•Provide that injured workers will not lose disability compensation while they are navigating the administrative process
•Enable compensation for mental stress or emotional conditions suffered by workers as a result of their injuries
•Protect workers with injuries that last longer than 500 weeks, but are still classified as “temporary” rather than “permanent”
•Bring the compensation program back “in house” rather than contracting with a company that profits at the expense of workers