(a) A claim shall be initiated when the claimant timely submits a completed application to the Court. Claims may be filed in person or by mail. A claim may be filed by a person eligible for compensation as provided in § 4-506, or if that person is a minor or legally incompetent, by the claimant's parent, guardian, or personal representative.
(b) Upon receipt of a completed application, the Court shall examine written information submitted by the claimant and other documentary evidence. The Court may require additional information from the claimant and conduct investigations as necessary to determine whether the claimant is eligible for compensation and the amount, if any, of compensation to be awarded. The Court shall send a notice of the determination, and the reasons therefor, to the claimant by first class mail, along with instructions for requesting reconsideration or an appeal before the Board.
(c) The claimant may, within 30 days after receiving the notice of determination, request reconsideration based on new or previously unavailable information. The Court must render a decision based on the additional information within 30 days after receiving the information. The Court may affirm, modify, or reverse its initial decision. The Court shall send a notice of the decision on reconsideration, and the reasons therefor, to the claimant by first class mail, along with instructions for filing an appeal.
(d) The claimant may, within 30 days after receipt of the initial determination, or within 30 days after receipt of the decision on reconsideration, appeal the decision to the Board. The Board shall consider the appeal on the record at its next scheduled meeting if the Board has received the appeal and the record at least 5 days before the meeting. Within 20 days after the meeting, the Board shall render its decision in the case or give notice to the claimant that it will hold a hearing. The hearing shall occur within 30 days after the issuance of the notice. The Board shall render its decision in the case within 20 days after the hearing. The Court shall provide the claimant with written notice of the final determination of the claim. If the final determination was made pursuant to a hearing, the notice shall include findings of fact and conclusions of law.
(e) The claimant may agree in writing to a final determination at any time.
(f) The Court may reopen a claim at any time if new evidence reveals that the claimant was not eligible, was guilty of contributory misconduct, knowingly provided false information, or suppressed relevant information concerning a claim.
(g) The claimant may have an attorney or other representative present at any appeals proceeding. In addition to the amount of compensation awarded to a successful claimant, a reasonable fee may be awarded to the claimant's attorney for services rendered in connection with an appeals proceeding under this chapter. The fee may not exceed 10% of the claimant's award or $500, whichever is less. Except for necessary costs, an attorney shall not charge, demand, receive, or collect a fee for services rendered in connection with a claim under this chapter in an amount larger than permitted by this section. The court shall notify the claimant of the availability of pro bono representation by clinical programs at area law schools.
(h) A final determination by the Board under this chapter may be appealed to the Chief Judge of the Court. Decisions of the Chief Judge shall be final.
(Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-243, § 13, 44 DCR 1142.)
1981 Ed., § 3-432.
Emergency Act Amendments
See note to § 4-501.
Legislative History of Laws
For legislative history of D.C. Law 11-243, see Historical and Statutory Notes following § 4-501.