Workers’ Compensation FAQs
Every state in the U.S. has its own workers’ compensation system in place in order to provide employees who are injured while on the job with medical, rehabilitation, and income benefits. The ins and outs of Georgia’s workers’ compensation system can be confusing, so for your convenience the answers to some frequently asked questions are provided below. However, it is important to note that each workers’ compensation case is unique. For case specific information it is important to consult with an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer.
If you have been injured at work, you are likely entitled to money for your medical bills and lost wages. A program called workers’ compensation allows employees injured at work to receive compensation for their injuries, paid for by their employer. The Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys of The Angell Law Firm help workers injured on the job get the money they deserve.Q: Who is Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
A: Under Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) § 34-9-2, everyone who works for an employer with three or more employees is covered by Georgia workers’ compensation law. Coverage starts from your first day on the job.Q: What Injuries Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
A: Any injury sustained during working hours and while performing job-related duties is covered. Injuries sustained while performing tasks unrelated to the job while at home, at lunch, or on break are not covered. Diseases that are caused “naturally and unavoidably” by the job are covered, as are heart attack, stroke, and other conditions if the employee proves that the condition was caused by the performance of the job’s usual duties. O.C.G.A. § 34-9-1.Q: What Benefits Are Available?
A: There are several benefits available to injured workers, depending on the severity of their injury:
- Medical treatment. All injured workers are entitled to medical treatment for their injuries. Medical treatment includes prescriptions, rehabilitation (including necessary equipment), physical therapy, and other necessary care.
- Temporary partial disability. If a worker has a temporary partial disability and returns to work at a lower wage, she is entitled to an amount equal to 2/3 of the difference between her old wages and her new wages. There are monetary and time limits to this type of benefit.
- Temporary total disability. If the employee’s treating physician determines that the employee is totally but temporarily disabled, the employee can receive 2/3 of her average weekly salary at the time of the injury. The statute limits the amount of this benefit and the length of time it is available.
- Permanent partial disability. Employees who have suffered a permanent partial disability are entitled to benefits calculated by a statutory formula.
- Death benefits. The family and other financial dependents of an employee killed on the job are entitled to death benefits under the law. The benefits are equal to 2/3 of the employee’s salary at the time of injury. This benefit is subject to a statutory maximum.
A: If you are injured at work it is in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as you can. Georgia workers’ compensation law gives injured workers one year from the date of the injury to file a claim. Failing to file a claim by the deadline could result in your claim being rejected. After you file a claim, you may request a hearing to prove your injuries. An attorney can help you demonstrate the number and extent of your injuries so that you can get the benefits that you deserve.Q: Are all employers in Georgia required to carry workers’ compensation insurance?
A: No, not all employers in Georgia are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Under Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws, only businesses that regularly employ three or more people are required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance. Note that the term “regular employees” includes both full-time and part-time employees as long as their employment with the company is regular. If you are unsure whether or not your employer is required to have workers’ compensation insurance, you can verify coverage by visiting sbwc.georgia.gov, or consultng with a workers’ compensation attorney in Atlanta.Q: How long do I have to file my workers’ compensation claim?
A: Be aware that employees who are injured on while on the job in Georgia are required to immediately notify their employer of the incident. Injured employees who fail to provide adequate notice within 30 days may be ineligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia.Q: Can an injured employee in Georgia collect both social security and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time?
A: Yes, it is possible to collect both social security and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time, however, be aware that under some circumstances the social security benefits that the injured employee is entitled to may be reduced if the employee is collecting workers’ compensation benefits. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will be able to explain whether or not collecting workers’ compensation will impact social security benefits in your case.Q: What are the penalties in Georgia for filing a fraudulent worker’s compensation claim?
A: Under Georgia law, anyone who knowingly and intentionally makes false or misleading statements in order to obtain workers’ compensation can be forced to pay a fine of $1,000 to $10,000 and may be sentenced to serve up to 12 months in jail.Q: If I request a hearing before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation am I required to retain a lawyer to represent me?
A: Everyone has the right to represent themselves in front of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. However, if there are significant benefits at stake, it is likely in your best interest to retain a worker’s compensation attorney in Atlanta who can ensure that your claim is presented properly and that your rights are protected.Need Legal Advice?
Georgia workers injured on the job have a legal right to compensation for their medical expenses and lost wages. The Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers at The Angell Law Firm have years of experience helping injured workers get the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one was injured while on the job in Georgia and have questions about your legal options know that the Angell Law Firm, LLC is here to help. Attorney Bryce Angell has extensive experience working as an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer and is committed to zealously fighting for his client’s rights. To schedule a free initial consultation with Mr. Angell contact our Atlanta office today by calling (770) 217-4954.See Related Blog Posts