Workers’ compensation payments in Georgia work to ensure injured employees can gain access to medical care and wage replacement benefits quickly when their workplace injuries prevent them from working. The injured worker may be required to visit a doctor from a pre-approved list selected by their employer and the workers’ compensation insurance provider.
If the doctor determines that the employee cannot work because of their injuries and treatment, that employee may qualify for weekly wage replacement benefits. These benefits cover about two-thirds of the worker’s average income, with a limit of $675 per week. The benefits may last until a doctor determines the employee can return to their job.
Receiving Income Replacement Benefits Through Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation payments in Georgia begin after a seven-day waiting period. If you miss more than 21 days at work, you will also receive payment for the first week you missed because of your injuries or illness, per O.C.G.A. § 34-9-220.
If you cannot work at all, you will receive a weekly payment that covers two-thirds of your average income. The current weekly maximum is $675, according to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC). These benefits are generally available for up to 400 weeks or until your condition improves enough for you to return to work at full capacity or on light-duty.
If your injuries are catastrophic in nature, you could receive lifetime income replacement benefits through this policy.
In some cases, you may receive clearance to work a light-duty job before you can return to your normal position. This will allow you to earn a paycheck, although it may be lower than your previous income. When this occurs, you may be able to receive the difference in this pay and two-thirds of your normal income, up to the current maximum.
Once your doctor releases you from any restrictions and you are able to return to your job, you will no longer receive benefits.
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Georgia Workers’ Compensation Laws
The Georgia workers’ compensation laws require all employers with three or more workers to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage for everyone on their payroll. This means that most workers in the state have access to this type of insurance coverage and income replacement benefits if they suffer a workplace injury or illness. Death benefits may also be available to the families of those who passed away because of their injury or illness and include funeral and burial costs.
While workers’ compensation insurance companies provide these policies, the system is administered through the SBWC. The rules of this system require injured employees to report their injury or illness to their supervisor as soon as possible and get immediate medical care from an approved physician. More rules and instructions on filing a claim can be found in the details of your employer’s workers’ compensation policy.
What to Do When Benefits Are Denied
It is not uncommon for workers’ compensation benefits to denied. When this happens, the SBWC lets workers appeal the denial twice. The first appeal goes before an SBWC judge. If the judge also denies the worker’s benefits, a second appeal can be made before the Appellate Division. At either stage, an appeal may overturn the original denial and grant an employee workers’ compensation benefits.
A denial can be due to many reasons, such as a lack of evidence about how the injury occurred, a dispute over the severity of your injuries, a technical error, etc. If your benefits were denied, a workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to take over your appeals process and:
- Interpret the reasons for your denial
- Help you collect new evidence to support your claim
- Represent you through the appeals process
- Handle all communications, deadlines, and paperwork on your behalf
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Bader Scott Injury Lawyers May Be Able to Help You
If you were hurt at work in the greater Atlanta area, you may qualify for workers’ compensation payments. The team from Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can help you file your claim, complete your paperwork and handle your case, or appeal a denial of your claim for benefits. We understand how important these payments may be to you and your family until you can return to work. Let us help you pursue these payments if you qualify.
Call (678) 562-5595 now for a free evaluation of your case with a member of our team. Bader Scott Injury Lawyers may be able to represent you on a contingency-fee basis, where you do not pay us attorney fees unless and until you recover compensation.