What Benefits Are Available in a Georgia Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Injured worker filing for workers compensation claim in Georgia.

Georgia workers’ compensation claims can include many benefits per Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation law. Many benefits are provided in a GA workers’ comp claim, including wage loss benefits for loss of income, medical benefits, and death benefits. Workers’ compensation insurance provides these benefits when you apply for a Georgia workers’ comp claim. The workers’ compensation benefits available depend on the injured workers’ situation, including the extent of the sustained injuries.

Workers’ compensation laws were established to protect workers who need medical attention or financial relief as a result of on-the-job injuries. In Georgia, employers with three or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Qualifying employees should receive medical coverage, partial wage replacement, and permanent disability benefits no matter who is at fault for their injuries.  But it can be difficult to get the full amount you’re due. The workers’ comp process can be full of red tape. An experienced attorney can help you navigate through it.

Below, the legal team at Gregory Smith Law, LLC, describes the benefits that are available in a Georgia workers’ compensation claim and the steps you should take if you were hurt at work. For questions about your individual situation, call or contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.

Medical Benefits for Injured Employees in GA

One of the most important purposes of the Workers’ Compensation Act is to provide medical treatment for employee’s job-related injuries.

Any time an employee suffers an injury or illness “arising out of and in the course of employment,” the law states employers are financially responsible for any reasonable and necessary medical treatment the employee needs to recover.

Medical benefits under Georgia workers’ compensation law are available to compensate injured workers for 100 percent of the cost of:

  • Emergency room visits
  • Doctors visits to employer-approved physicians
  • Necessary surgeries
  • Prescription medications
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Durable medical equipment, such as wheelchairs
  • Home and vehicle accessibility modifications

Disability Benefits Under Workers’ Compensation in GA

If you suffered an on-the-job injury that prevents you from returning to work in your usual capacity or from working altogether, you may be entitled to certain disability benefits. There are several categories of benefits available, including:

Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits

If an authorized treating physician determines that you are physically unable to return to your regular job, you could be eligible for TTD benefits. Georgia law imposes a limit of 400 weeks on the amount of time you can recover TTD. TTD benefit payments are limited to two-thirds of your average weekly wage before you were injured up to a maximum of $675.00 per week.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) Benefits

When your work-related injury allows you to return to “light duty” work that pays less than your usual wage, or if you cannot work the same number of hours, you may be entitled to receive temporary partial disability payments from the insurance company in addition to the wages paid by your employer. TPD benefit payments are limited to two-thirds of the difference in your average weekly wages before and after your work-related injury. These payments are capped at $450.00 per week for a maximum of 350 weeks.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits

If you have suffered the permanent loss of use of any part of your body, you are entitled to receive permanent partial disability payments. If an employee is permanently partially disabled by a work-related injury, they can recover PPD benefits to compensate them for their loss.

An impairment rating is a “loss of use” percentage rating provided by your doctor that determines the level of permanent impairment you suffered because of your work-related injury. After you receive an impairment rating, the percentage rating is used to determine the monetary benefits you can receive and for how long.

The length of time you are entitled to benefits is based on a “schedule” that lists certain body parts and the number of weeks you can receive benefit payments for disability to those body parts.  This “schedule” can be found at O.C.G.A. 34-9-263.

For example, the loss of an arm or total loss of use of an arm is scheduled for 225 weeks of PPD benefits. PPD benefit payments are limited to two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage prior to the date of injury up to a maximum of $675.00 per week, the same amount as the TTD benefit payment.

Our attorneys will work with your doctor(s) to make sure that you receive an accurate permanent impairment rating, ensuring that you get the maximum allowable payment.

Injured at Work in Georgia? What to Do Next

If you were injured on the job in Georgia, you should take several steps to protect your health and your ability to recover compensation for your losses:

  • Report the injury to your employer. Notify your employer promptly of any work-related accident that results in injury. You could lose your right to pursue benefits if you fail to report the injury to your employer within 30 days.
  • Seek immediate medical attention. Visit an authorized healthcare provider for evaluation as soon as possible. Your employer is required to post information identifying eligible physicians or a toll-free number for a Managed Care Organization you can call to locate one. After your initial exam, you may switch to another eligible physician at any time.
  • Contact a knowledgeable workers’ comp lawyer. If your claim is denied or you feel uncertain about any aspect of the workers’ comp claim process, contact an experienced lawyer for help.

Not sure how to get started? The attorneys at Gregory Smith Law, LLC, focus exclusively on workers’ comp law. We can help you apply for benefits, collect the documentation you need to present the strongest possible claim, and represent you during appeals if needed.

Being out of work shouldn’t mean you’re out of the resources you need to stay personally and financially healthy. Call or contact a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney today for a free consultation.

About the Author

Gregory Smith
Gregory founded Gregory Smith Law, LLC in his hometown of Augusta in 1993. Since that time, he has focused his practice exclusively on representing injured workers and their families after serious on-the-job accidents in Augusta and throughout Georgia. Gregory earned his undergraduate degree in accounting from Augusta College and law degree from Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law in Macon. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, Augusta Bar Association, and the Georgia Injured Workers’ Advocates, an organization dedicated to protecting the rights of injured and ill workers in the Peach State. When he’s not in the office, Gregory enjoys bicycling, fishing, and spending time with his wife and three children.