Filing your D.C. worker's compensation claim in Maryland or Virginia can cost you hundreds of dollars in benefits every week if you have a high income.

Why can filing your workers compensation claim in the wrong state cost you hundreds of dollars every week?  Especially if you are a union worker, high income earner or have been working a lot of overtime before your injury?

D.C., Maryland and Virginia workers compensation benefits are 2/3 of your average weekly wages at the time of injury - but here's the catch.  There is a maximum compensation rate, or cap, on the amount of weekly benefits.

In the District, that maximum rate is over $1,400 per week.  In Maryland its $990 and Virginia set it at $935.

How can that affect you?  Say a worker earning $1,800 per week before taxes or deductions (and this could include overtime, bonuses or even a second job in some cases) hurts his back on the job and can't work because of the injury.  If his workers compensation case was in D.C., his weekly benefits would be $1,200. But in Maryland, he'd be at the maximum rate and would receive only $990 per week.

And if he was working on a Maryland jobsite for a Maryland employer and was hurt in Maryland, that's just the way it goes.

But what if his case could have been filed in D.C.? Maybe he lives in Maryland but was hurt in D.C.

You see, insurance companies know the benefit rates are lower in Maryland and Virginia - that's why they send you forms to file in one of those states.  And many people don't know there's a difference. Here's another catch - once you file and accept benefits in another state, you can't get workers compensation benefits in D.C.

How do you make sure you're doing the right thing and not costing your family hundreds of dollars every week?  Start by reading Protect Your Rights: The Ultimate Guide to D.C. Workers Compensation, or if you're a union worker, The Union Worker's Guide to Workers Comp.

Have questions?  Just call us at (202) 393-3320.  But don't wait - timing is everything.  Don't make this mistake - its just too costly to you and your family.

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