Washington law requires every business with one employee or more to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Most workers’ compensation settlements are paid in a lump sum.
Washington businesses with one employee or more are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation covers workplace injuries and related liabilities for business owners.
Workers’ compensation insurance in Washington is no-fault coverage, which means the employee is covered regardless of whether the employer or an employee is at fault for the injury. It’s designed for two purposes:
The Washington, D.C., workers’ compensation requirements apply to every business, even if an employee is part-time or seasonal.
Estimated employer costs for workers’ compensation in Washington, D.C., are $0.48 per $100 in covered payroll, according to the National Academy of Social Insurance [PDF].
Each employer’s cost for coverage is based on workers’ compensation class codes, which are assigned to different employees depending on their job duties. Your workers’ compensation insurance company will determine your cost based on how many employees perform different jobs at your company and their exposure to risk.
An employer is required to report any work injury to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). If the employer fails to report it, he or she could face a penalty of up to $1,000.
If the employer fails to secure workers’ compensation coverage, they will be fined between $1,000 and $10,000. Some officers of a corporation can be held personally liable, in addition to the company itself.
Additional violations of the workers’ compensation laws could result in misdemeanor charges, fines, or imprisonment for up to one year.
If an employee dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness, death benefits can be awarded to surviving dependents.
Dependents include the deceased worker’s surviving spouse or domestic partner, surviving children under the age of 18 or children who are incapable of supporting themselves because of a physical or mental disability, and full-time students under age 23.
If there’s no spouse, partner, or child who meets these criteria, it’s possible that benefits could be provided to a parent, grandparent, sibling, or grandchild who was financially dependent on the deceased worker.
An eligible survivor can receive benefits based on a maximum amount set each year that is contingent upon the worker’s average weekly wage at the time of their death.
The spouse or domestic partner receives 50% of the worker’s average weekly wage if there are no children, until the spouse or partner remarries or enters into a new partnership. If that happens, the survivor can receive a lump-sum payment of two years’ worth of benefits instead of weekly benefits.
If there’s a spouse or partner and child, the survivor would receive an additional 17% for each child up to a maximum of 67% of the deceased workers’ wages. If the survivor remarries or re-partners, the child would receive 50% of the wages, and multiple children would receive 66.67%.
If there’s a child but no spouse or partner, the child is entitled to 50% of the wages, and multiple children would share 67%.
The family of a deceased worker in the District of Columbia is entitled to funeral costs up to $5,000.
A workers’ compensation settlement is an agreement between the parties that will resolve your workers’ compensation claim. This benefits both the employee and the employer. A settlement in a workers’ compensation claim is a full and final resolution.
The primary form of settlement for a workers’ compensation claim in Washington, D.C., is a lump sum. Sometimes the insurance company will agree to a structured settlement, which pays benefits in installments over a set number of years.
The District of Columbia Office of Workers’ Compensation is responsible for approving all settlements.
The statute of limitations, or the amount of time an injured worker has to file a claim, is one year from the date of the injury or the date when the injured person reasonably should have been aware that the injury was related to the workplace.
Start a free online application today to compare workers’ compensation insurance quotes for your small business from leading U.S. carriers. Insureon’s licensed agents specialize in insurance for numerous Washington businesses.