Georgia Workers' Compensation FAQ's

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After a work injury in Georgia, it is normal to have questions and concerns.  Below are answers to some of the more frequently asked questions our clients have about workers' compensation following a work accident in Georgia.

What is workers' compensation?

Workers’ compensation is an accident insurance program paid by your employer which may provide you with medical, rehabilitation and income benefits if you are injured on the job.  It also provides benefits to your dependents if you die as a result of a job-related injury.

What is Georgia's Workers Compensation Act?

Georgia's workers' compensation act is a section of laws contained within the Official Code of Georgia.   The workers compensation act is found under Title 34, Section 9 and currently contains 432 sub-sections.

Does Georgia's workers' compensation act cover all employers?

No.  Only employers who have 3 or more employees are required to obtain workers' compensation insurance.

Does Georgia's workers' compensation act cover all employees?

No. Railroad workers, domestic servants, and farm laborers are specifically excluded from the protections afforded under Georgia's workers' compensation act.   Additionally, independent contractors are not covered unless it can be shown that the employer exercised a sufficient right of control over the independent contractor at the time of a work accident.

Am I covered by Georgia's workers' compensation act if I am injured in another state?

Possibly.  Georgia residents who are injured while on the job in another state are subject to Georgia's workers compensation as as long as their employment meets certain requirements.  These requirement include: the employee was hired while living in Georgia, the employer’s place of business or the residence of the employee is in the state of Georgia, and the job you were hired for was not exclusively for work outside of the state of Georgia.

How long do I have to work for an employer to be covered under Georgia's workers' compensation act?

You are covered from the first minute you start work for an employer.

What doctor do I see if I am injured at work in Georgia?

All Georgia employers are required to post information identifying medical providers you can choose to see following a work injury. This includes:

  • Posting a Traditional "Panel of Physicians" consisting of a minimum of six doctors. You may choose any one of the six.  The panel must include one orthopedic physician and not more than two industrial clinics.  You may make one change to another doctor on the list without the permission of your employer.
  • Posting the name of the Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization ("WC/MCO") certified by the Board which your employer has contracted with to provide medical services. Your employer must give you a notice of the eligible medical service providers and post a 24-hour toll-free number for the managed care organization. A managed care representative will assist you in scheduling an appointment with the eligible medical provider of your choice.

How long do I have to wait to receive Georgia workers' compensation benefits after an injury?

You are entitled to medical treatment for your injury immediately.  You are entitled to weekly income benefits if you are unable to work for more than 7 days.  Your first check should be mailed to you within 21 days after the first day you missed work.

How long can I receive Georgia workers' compensation benefits?

If you are injured at work in Georgia, you are entitled to receive medical and income benefits for up to 400 weeks (a little more than 7 1/2 years).  If your injury is deemed "catastrophic" in nature, you may be entitled to lifetime benefits.

How much will my benefits be if I am unable to work due to a Georgia work injury?

You are entitled to receive two-thirds (2/3 or 66%) of your average weekly wage, with a maximum benefit amount currently being $800.00 per week.

What happens if I lose a body part (arm, leg, finger, etc.) due to a work injury in Georgia?

You will receive what are called permanent partial disability ("PPD") benefits based upon an amount set by law.  For example, if you lost an arm or leg, you will receive benefits of 225 weeks.

What if I am able to return to work at a lower paying job following my work injury in Georgia?

You are eligible to receive a reduced benefit called temporary partial disability.  The amount you receive is based upon your earnings prior to your injury, and can be received for a maximum of 350 weeks following your injury.  The maximum temporary partial disability benefit is currently $533.00 per week .

What happens if someone is killed due to a work accident in Georgia?

While tough to think about, it is possible that a work accident can cost you your life.  In these terrible instances, your dependents will receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage or a maximum of $800.00 per week for death.  Your dependents include your surviving spouse/partner, children/step-children, any other family member who can prove you supported them financially at the time of their fatal work accident.   A widowed spouse/partner, with no children, is limited to a total amount of $320,000.00 unless he or she remarries or cohabitates in a meretricious relationship.  Children are allowed to receive benefits until they turn 18 years old, unless they can show they are attending college, which allows them to receive benefits until the age of 22.

 

If you have been injured at work give our lawyers a call today at 770-214-2500 for a free consultation.

 

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