Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter I. General.


§ 5–631. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) “Act” means subchapter I of Chapter 7 of Title 5 [§ 5-701 et seq.].

(2) “Chief” means either the Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department or the Chief of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.

(3) “Department” means the Metropolitan Police Department or the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.

(4) “Director” means either the director of medical services for the Metropolitan Police Department, or the medical services officer for the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.

(5) “Full range of duties” means the ability of a member to perform all of the essential functions of police work or fire suppression as determined by the established policies and procedures of the Metropolitan Police Department or the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, and to meet the physical examination and physical agility standards established under §§ 5-107.02a and 5-451.

(6) “Limited duty” means a temporary status for members who, because of injury or other temporary medical disability, are not able to perform the full range of duties, but are certified by a Police and Fire Clinic physician as being capable of effectively performing certain types of work within the department.

(7) “Member” means a sworn employee of the Metropolitan Police Department or the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.


(Sept. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-194, § 621, 51 DCR 9406.)

Editor's Notes

Section 641 of D.C. Law 15-194 provided

“Sec. 641. Applicability subject to availability of appropriations.

“This title referring to Chapter 6A shall be subject to the availability of appropriations.”

Application of Titles I and VI of D.C. Law 15-194: Section 1301 of D.C. Law 15-194 provided:

“Titles I and VI of this act shall apply to pre-1980 employees of the Metropolitan Police Department and the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department upon their enactment by Congress.”

Because of the codification of D.C. Law 15-194, Subtitle D as subchapter II of this chapter, the preexisting text, §§ 5-631 through 5-635, has been designated as subchapter I.


§ 5–632. Limited duty.

(a) If the Director, in consultation with Police and Fire Clinic physicians, determines that a member, because of injury or other temporary medical disability is unable to perform the full range of duties, but is capable of effectively performing certain types of work within the department, and the prognosis is that the member will be able to perform a full range of duties after achieving maximum medical improvement, the Director may recommend to the Chief that the member perform work in a limited-duty status.

(b) Members in a limited-duty status shall:

(1) Undertake in-service training as required by the Chief;

(2) Not be permitted to work voluntary overtime; and

(3) Not accept or continue any off-duty employment without the specific approval of the Chief.

(c) No less than every 30 days, the Director shall evaluate members in a limited-duty status to determine their health status and to ensure that they are complying with their medical treatment plans.

(d) If at any time the Director, in consultation with the Police and Fire Clinic physicians, determines that a member in a limited-duty status is unable to perform the full range of duties after achieving maximum medical improvement, the Director shall recommend the member for retirement pursuant to § 5-709 or § 5-710, as appropriate.


(Sept. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-194, § 622, 51 DCR 9406.)


§ 5–633. Medical leave for performance of duty injuries and illnesses; referral for disability retirement.

(a) Except as provided in subsections (e) and (g) of this section, if the Director, in consultation with the Police and Fire Clinic physicians, determines that a member can neither perform the full range of duties nor work in a limited-duty status due to a performance-of-duty injury or illness, the member shall be entitled to non-chargeable medical leave and shall receive administrative pay for a period of not more than 2 years in accordance with rules established by the Mayor.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (g) of this section, if at any time the Director, in consultation with the Police and Fire Clinic physicians, determines that a member who has sustained a performance-of-duty injury or illness will not be able to perform the full range of duties after achieving maximum medical improvement, the Director shall recommend the member for retirement pursuant to § 5-710.

(c) Except as provided in subsections (e), (f), and (h) of this section, and regardless of whether the prognosis is that the member will be able to perform the full range of duties after achieving maximum medical improvement, the Director shall process for retirement pursuant to § 5-710, those members of the Metropolitan Police Department who spend all or part of 172 cumulative work days in a less-than-full-duty status over any 2-year period as a result of any one performance-of-duty injury or illness, including any complications relating to the injury or illness.

(d) Except as provided in subsections (e), (f) and (g) of this section, and regardless of whether the prognosis is that the member will be able to perform the full range of duties after achieving maximum medical improvement, the Director shall process for retirement pursuant to § 5-710, those Fire and Emergency Medical Services members who spend 64 cumulative work days in a less-than-full-duty status over any 2-year period as a result of any one performance-of-duty injury or illness, including any complications relating to the injury or illness.

(e) If a member has sustained a serious or life-threatening injury or illness in the performance of duty that may require more than 2 years of medical treatment for the member to achieve maximum medical improvement, and the prognosis is that the member eventually will be able to perform the full range of duties, the Director, in consultation with Police and Fire Clinic physicians, may recommend to the Chief that the member be provided with additional non-chargeable medical leave and disability compensation pay until the member achieves maximum medical improvement.

(f) The provisions of subsections (c) and (d) of this section shall not apply to members who are unable to perform the full range of duties as a result of pregnancy.

(g)(1) If a member of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department has sustained, in the performance of duty at the scene of a fire or emergency, any serious or life-threatening injury or illness for which the member requires critical care treatment in a hospital intensive care unit or its equivalent, the member shall not be processed for retirement pursuant to subsection (b) or subsection (d) of this section unless the member:

(A) As a result of the injury or illness sustained, has spent more than 170 cumulative work days in a less-than-full-duty status over the 2-year period following the date the member sustained the injury or illness; and

(B) Is unable to work in a less-than-full-duty capacity within the Department.

(2) The member shall be provided with additional non-chargeable medical leave and disability compensation pay pursuant to subsection (a) of this section until the member achieves maximum medical improvement or is processed for retirement after having spent more than 170 cumulative work days in less-than-full-duty status over the 2-year period.

(3)(A) A member who has spent more than 170 cumulative work days in less-than-full-duty status over the 2-year period pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection and continues to be unable to perform the full range of duties shall not be processed involuntarily for retirement under § 5-710 if the member is able and willing to work in any less-than-full-duty capacity within the Department, including staffing the divisions of the Training Academy, Professional Standards, Fleet Management, Facilities Maintenance, Fire Prevention and Education, and equipment maintenance, or other non-firefighting duty.

(B) The Department shall assign the member non-firefighting duties if the member continues to be unable to perform the full range of duties but is able and willing to work in a less-than-full-duty capacity after expiration of the 170 days.

(C) Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as preventing the member from seeking retirement for disability under § 5-710.

(h)(1) If a member of the Metropolitan Police Department has sustained, in the performance of duty, any serious or life-threatening injury or illness for which the member requires critical care treatment in a hospital intensive care unit or its equivalent, the member shall not be processed for retirement pursuant to subsection (b) or subsection (c) of this section unless the member:

(A) As a result of the injury or illness sustained, has spent more than 172 cumulative work days in a less-than-full-duty status over the 2-year period following the date the member sustained the injury or illness; and

(B) Is unable to work in a less-than-full-duty capacity within the Metropolitan Police Department.

(2) The member shall be provided with additional non-chargeable medical leave and disability compensation pay pursuant to subsection (a) of this section until the member achieves maximum medical improvement or is processed for retirement after having spent more than 172 cumulative work days in less-than-full-duty status over the 2-year period.

(3)(A) A member who has spent more than 172 cumulative work days in less-than-full-duty status over the 2-year period pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection and continues to be unable to perform the full range of duties shall not be processed involuntarily for retirement under § 5-710 if the member is able and willing to work in any less-than-full-duty capacity within the Metropolitan Police Department.

(B) The Metropolitan Police Department shall assign the member non-policing duties if the member continues to be unable to perform the full range of duties but is able and willing to work in less-than-full-duty capacity after expiration of the 172 days.

(C) Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as preventing the member from seeking retirement for disability under § 5-710.


(Sept. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-194, § 623, 51 DCR 9406; Oct. 21, 2008, D.C. Law 17-235, § 2, 55 DCR 9016; June 5, 2018, D.C. Law 22-99, § 2, 65 DCR 3766.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-235, in subsec. (a), substituted “subsections (e) and (g)” for “subsection (e)”; in subsec. (b), inserted “Except as provided in subsection (g) of this section,”; and added subsec. (g).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Burned Fire Fighter Relief Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-243, January 23, 2008, 55 DCR 1226).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Burned Fire Fighter Relief Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-347, April 14, 2008, 55 DCR 5200).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2 of D.C. Law 17-143, in subsec. (d), substituted “subsections (e), (f), and (g)” for “subsections (e) and (f)”, and added subsec. (g) to read as follows: “(g) If a member of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department has sustained, in the performance of duty at the scene of a fire, 2nd-or 3rd-degree burns over 15% or more of the member’s body for which the member requires critical care treatment in a hospital intensive care unit or its equivalent, the member shall not be processed for retirement pursuant to subsection (d) of this section unless the member, as a result of the burns sustained, has spent more than 170 cumulative work days in a less-than-full-duty status over the 2-year period following the date the member sustained the burns.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 17-143 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.


§ 5–634. Medical leave for non-performance-of-duty illnesses and injuries; referral for disability retirement.

(a) If the Director, in consultation with the Police and Fire Clinic physicians, determines that a member can neither perform the full range of duties nor work in a limited-duty status due to a non-performance-of-duty injury or illness, the member shall be entitled to chargeable medical leave to the extent the member has leave in his or her sick leave and annual leave accounts, and in accordance with rules established by the Mayor under Chapter 6 of Title 1 and Chapter 5 of Title 32.

(b) If at any time the Director, in consultation with the Police and Fire Clinic physicians, determines that a member who has sustained a non-performance-of-duty injury or illness will not be able to perform the full range of duties after achieving maximum medical improvement, the Director shall recommend the member for retirement pursuant to § 5-709.

(c) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, and regardless of whether the prognosis is that the member who has sustained a non-performance-of-duty injury or illness will be able to perform a full range of duties after achieving maximum medical improvement, the Director shall process for retirement pursuant to § 5-709, those Metropolitan Police Department members who spend all or part of 172 cumulative work days in a less-than-full-duty status over any 2-year period as a result of any one non-performance-of-duty injury or illness, including any complications relating to the injury or illness.

(d) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, and regardless of whether the prognosis is that the member who has sustained a non-performance-of-duty injury or illness will be able to perform the full range of duties after achieving maximum medical improvement, the Director shall process for retirement pursuant to § 5-709, those Fire and Emergency Medical Services members who spend 64 cumulative work days in a less-than-full-duty status over any 2-year period as a result of any one non-performance-of-duty injury or illness, including any complications relating to the injury or illness.

(e) The provisions of subsections (c) and (d) of this section shall not apply to members who are unable to perform a full range of duties as a result of pregnancy.


(Sept. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-194, § 624, 51 DCR 9406.)


§ 5–635. Rules.

The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this chapter.


(Sept. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-194, § 625, 51 DCR 9406.)