Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to collect workers’ compensation and disability at the same time. Workers’ compensation is determined by a formula that takes into account your weekly wages and the severity of your qualifying injury. A predetermined compensation table then outlines how long you are eligible for benefits.
If you are unable to work because of your injury or cannot work in the same capacity that you worked before, you may qualify for some portion of your workers’ compensation benefits as well as some disability payouts.
To determine your eligibility for both types of financial support, you must understand how workers’ compensation benefits work, how insurers assess injuries and payouts, the limits of different forms of compensation, and whether there are alternative sources of coverage available to you.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
Employers purchase workers’ compensation to cover the medical bills and treatment expenses of employees who become injured while at work. This coverage may also apply to workers who suffer injuries while performing work-related tasks outside of the workplace.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were over 5,000 workplace fatalities in the United States in 2018 and almost nine million nonfatal workplace accidents in 2017. If you include work-related accidents and injuries that occur off-site—such as injuries that occur during business travel—the figures are even higher. Workers’ compensation is an important form of coverage that helps the victims of such accidents get the care and treatment they need.
Worker’s compensation coverage in Georgia entitles workers to two-thirds of their weekly wages every week if they are unable to work because of a work-related injury. These payments do not exceed $675 per week. If an injured worker can return to work but in a limited capacity, he or she can usually file a claim to receive up to $450 per week.
While these caps outline how much you can potentially receive per week, an approved doctor must determine how severe your injuries are and how long you may qualify to receive benefits.
Injury Severity and Duration of Coverage
According to Georgia Statute 24-9-263, the more severe your injuries, the longer you will be eligible for benefits. For example, if you lose an arm or a leg, you can claim benefits for 225 weeks. If you lose a hand or a foot, your benefits will run for 160 or 135 weeks, respectively. For total physical incapacitation, you can claim benefits for 300 weeks.
Keep in mind that the durations above are for receiving workers’ compensation payments. You may be eligible for other disability paments during and even beyond these durations.
For example, for life-altering or catastrophic injuries, you may be entitled to lifetime benefits. These can be from your workers’ comp plan in the form of a workers’ compensation pension, or payments that you are eligible for under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Other federal or state insurance laws may also apply.
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
How Social Security Disability Benefits Affect Workers’ Compensation Claims
Although you can receive Social Security Disability benefits and workers’ compensation at the same time, you cannot receive more than 80% of your average weekly or monthly earnings in compensation. To recover earnings you did not receive because of the 80% coverage cap, you may be able to draw up a settlement agreement with your employer or workers’ compensation provider after your compensation period ends.
The formulas and calculations that determine your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits are not always straightforward. You may not agree with the disability rating assigned to you for your injuries, or you may require some form of training to rejoin the workforce. Your maximum allowable weekly benefits will also change depending on how badly your workplace injury affected you.
Contact Us Today
Calculating your benefits—especially if you plan to apply for disability benefits as well—can be difficult to do on your own while dealing with an injury. This is where we may be able to help. Contact the offices of the Bader Scott Injury Lawyers team at (678) 562-5595 for a free consultation.
We may be able to take your case and help you understand what you need to know about collecting workers’ compensation and disability at the same time. We can also help you estimate what your likely weekly payment limits and benefits durations might be. Do not hesitate to call today.