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District of Columbia: Court Construes Burden Shifting Framework Required to Pass on Employer’s Termination of Benefits Request

November 06, 2015 (1 min read)







Where an employer has accepted a claim and paid workers’ compensation benefits, but later moves to terminate or modify those benefits, the employer has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that conditions have changed such that the claimant no longer is entitled to the benefits being paid. Under this framework, the initial burden of production is on the agency-employer. The burden may shift to the claimant if the employer presents adequate evidence to warrant such a “shift,” but the burden of persuasion is at all times with the employer. The D.C. Court of Appeals held that an ALJ had deviated from the framework in failing to address whether the evidence offered by the employer was current and probative in support of a claim that claimant’s condition warranted a termination in benefits. The court added, however, that the claimant was not entitled to a further legal presumption of continued benefits under D.C. Code § 1–623.24(d)(3) and her treating physicians were not to be given preference.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to

See Ross v. District of Columbia Dep’t of Empl. Servs., 2015 D.C. App. LEXIS 515 (Oct. 29, 2015) [2015 D.C. App. LEXIS 515 (Oct. 29, 2015)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 131.03 [131.03]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.









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