Georgia workers need to know how long they can receive workers’ compensation benefits after a work-related injury. Under Georgia law, if you have suffered any injuries while working, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is essentially a form of accident insurance paid by employers that cover medical, rehabilitation, and income benefits for on-the-job injuries.
Getting hurt while at work is inevitable. Therefore, Georgia places an obligation on employers to provide insurance to cushion the effects of such injuries on employees and their dependents. The workers’ compensation law in Georgia is a bit complicated. Therefore, it is always wise to seek counsel from a workers’ compensation attorney in Georgia from the onset.
Who Can Receive Workers Comp in Georgia?
Any business with three or more workers, including regular part-time workers, is expected to have workers comp insurance in Georgia. If you sustained an injury while performing a task in the course of your employment, you will be able to receive compensation under the law in Georgia.
All employees in Georgia are covered under their establishment’s workers comp insurance. You don’t need to have worked at the business for any specified period for you to be eligible.
If you suffered an injury on the job, you should immediately notify your employer of your injury. Furthermore, you have one year from the date of the damage to file a workers’ compensation claim. You will likely get disqualified from receiving workers’ comps if you don’t file your claim on time.
How Long Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation in Georgia?
After submitting your workers’ compensation claim, your employer’s insurance company is supposed to start paying your benefits. Your first check should be mailed to you within 21 days after the first day you missed work because of the injury. Generally, an injured worker can receive benefits for up to 400 weeks.
This period can be shorter or longer, depending on the wound. For instance, in amputation cases, a person who loses a toe will most likely receive compensation for shorter periods than someone who loses an arm or a whole leg.
If you cannot work after seven (7) days, you are entitled to weekly benefits. The weekly payments will usually amount to two-thirds of your average weekly wage. However, this figure is now fixed at $675/week for injuries suffered on or after July 1, 2019.
If you lose any part of your body, you will receive benefits for the period specified by law. In some unfortunate instances, your injury may be so devastating and catastrophic. In these cases, you might receive weekly benefits for life.
How long you receive workers compensation in Georgia is affected by three significant factors, including:
- The severity of the injury.
- The impact of the injury on your worklife.
- Whether or not the injury disables you.
Furthermore, without recourse to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, the insurer can stop your benefits if the authorized physician clears you for regular duty without restrictions. If you also return to work, and continue earning the same amount of money you made before you got hurt, your checks may stop coming.
Finally, workers comp benefits usually include medical costs for treating the injury. You can continue receiving these medical costs for as long as your treatment lasts. Your medical bills will remain until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI refers to that point where medical intervention can no longer improve your condition.
Can Termination of Employment Affect How Long I Receive Workers’ Compensation?
This is a frequent question among beneficiaries of workers’ compensation in Georgia. The state operates an employment “at-will” system. This means that employers in Georgia can fire their staff for any reason or no reason at all. It is normal to be scared that your employer may fire you to stop paying your benefits.
However, employers are unlikely to fire you for filing a compensation claim. And even if they do, you will have a cause of action against them. Furthermore, even if you’re fired from your job, you will still be eligible for workers’ comp if your condition demands so.
Injured on the Job? Let Lawyers in Georgia Help You!
If you sustained an injury while working, we’d help you get compensation. If you also think that the suspension of your benefits was unfair, you can reach out to our workers’ comp attorneys for legal consultation and representation. At Calvin Smith Law, we exploit our lawyers’ combined experience to ensure that our clients receive a settlement for any injuries they sustain at work. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.