Avoiding the Late Payment Penalty

Compensation awarded in an Order must be "paid within 10 days after it becomes due" or a statutorily mandated twenty-percent penalty shall be imposed. D.C. Code § 32-1515.

In Daly v. D.C. Dep't of Empl. Servs., 2015 D.C. App. LEXIS 359, 12-13 (D.C. Aug. 6, 2015), the Court held that payment becomes "due" within ten days of the employer/insurer receiving notice of either OWC's or the Hearings and Adjudication Section's order via certified mail or registered mail, return receipt requested, if that is the method on which the administrative agency decides to serve the party. The Court rejected Claimant’s argument that the ten-day time period began to run when the employer/insurer had "actual notice," i.e. when counsel forwarded a copy of the order via email.

In Orius Telcoms., Inc. v. D.C. Dep't of Empl. Servs., 857 A.2d 1061 (D.C. 2004), the Court held that the term "paid" in this context means money actually received, not the date payment was posted or mailed. Compensation must be received by the Claimant within ten days after the employer/insurer receives the Order to avoid the imposition of the penalty.

For further information concerning the defense of District of Columbia workers' compensation matters, call Jordan Coyne LLP Partner Steve Schwinn, at 703-246-0900.