The length of workers’ compensation benefits can range from a short period for minor injuries or up to 400 weeks for serious injuries that qualify for full benefits. This timeline begins on the day the injury occurred.
Individuals who have endured grievous and debilitating injuries, rendering them permanently unable to work, may be eligible for lifetime benefits.
In many cases, how long can you receive workers’ compensation in Georgia will depend on the examinations performed by appointed medical professionals, who will then detail their findings to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC). If a doctor determines that you have recovered from your injury and are able to work, it may result in the SBWC ending your benefits.
Circumstances That Can Impact How Long You Receive Benefits
As detailed by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation, here is a closer look at some other examples that may dictate the timeframe of benefits:
If you recover from your injury enough to go back to work, but the injury still causes you to be moved to a lower-paying job, you may be eligible for partial benefits that cannot last more than 350 weeks.
Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits
If someone is killed on the job, death benefits can last for a maximum of 400 weeks. However, these benefits may be terminated early if the surviving spouse remarries or chooses to move in with a new partner. If a child is the beneficiary of the payments, they will continue to receive them until they turn 18 years old. This age may extend to 22 years old if they are actively enrolled in college.
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Workers’ Compensation Benefits Rates
The SBWC explains that workers may be eligible to receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage if they have been injured in an accident after July 1, 2019. However, there are caps on all payments, with the maximum amount awarded for full benefits peaking at $675 each week.
As previously mentioned, if you are well enough to return to work, but your injuries cause your income potential to be lowered, you may be eligible to receive a maximum of $450 each week. For the dependents of workers killed on the job site, they are also eligible for two-thirds of the average weekly wage, again maxing out at $675.
If the deceased worker does not have any kids, and they only leave behind a surviving spouse, a cap is placed on their spouse’s benefits that cannot exceed $270,000.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Georgia
The SBWC provides workers with the tools they need to file a claim, which can be obtained by calling their office or by visiting their website.
Typically, the filing process may look something like this:
- The SBWC will provide you with a Form WC-14, which you will fill out and send back to them.
- If the board denies your benefits, you can ask for a hearing to take place before a SBWC judge. After examining the arguments presented by both sides, the presiding officials will make their ruling, either denying you again or awarding you the relevant benefits.
- If the SBWC judge denies you benefits, you can make a second appeal of your case before the Appellate Division.
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Working with a Lawyer on Your Case
Lawyers are not required in the workers’ compensation application or appeals process. However, you can have a lawyer represent you if you choose to do so. When you hire a workers’ compensation lawyer to help with your case, they may be able to:
- Communicate with all parties on your behalf
- Handle the legal paperwork and deadlines in your case
- Investigate your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy, the details of your accident and injury, and/or the reason for your rejected benefits
- Help you collect evidence to file your claim or appeal
- Hire accident reconstruction or medical experts to testify in your defense
Ultimately, a lawyer can be there to provide comfort during a difficult time and offer legal guidance throughout your proceedings.
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Can Fight for Your Benefits
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers supports injured workers in the Atlanta area. If you were hurt on the job and would like representation with filing your claim, or if your initial claim was denied and you would like to work with a lawyer on the appeals process, we may be able to help you.
To learn more about our services and receive a free consultation on your case, contact a Bader Scott Injury Lawyers representative today at (404) 888-8888. We can discuss how long you can receive workers’ compensation in Georgia as part of this conversation.