A worker in Georgia is injured on the job by a forklift.

If an injured worker has suffered a serious injury or has become disabled, temporary total disability or permanent partial disability workers’ compensation benefits may provide a vital financial lifeline.

The team at Gregory Smith Law, LLC is here to help if you’ve suffered a severe disability due to a work-related injury in Georgia. Our firm has a detailed understanding of Georgia workers’ compensation law because workers’ compensation claims are all we handle.

Attorney Gregory Smith has more than 25 years of experience representing injured workers. During his years of practice, Gregory Smith has helped injured workers recover millions of dollars in workers’ compensation benefits for themselves and their families.

Get a free initial consultation by calling our office in Augusta or visiting our contact page.

What Are Temporary Total Disability Benefits?

Temporary total disability is one of the four main categories of workers’ compensation disability benefits available to injured workers in Georgia. If you are injured on the job and the doctor determines you are unable to work, you are entitled to receive weekly Temporary Total Disability benefits after missing seven days of work. The weekly benefit is equivalent to two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to a maximum amount.

What Are Permanent Partial Disability Benefits?

An injured worker who has a permanent disability resulting from an on-the-job injury may qualify for permanent partial disability benefits. The amount of the benefit is based on the disability rating percentage given by the authorized doctor who treats your injury. Permanent partial disabilities may preclude a worker from performing their job with the same level of efficiency and skill as they did before they were injured, thereby limiting their earning capacity.

Some common injuries that qualify for permanent partial disability benefits include:

  • Back and spine injuries (most common)
  • Nerve damage
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Accidental amputation of a body part
  • Hearing loss
  • Vision loss
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Paralysis

What Is the Main Difference Between Temporary Total and Permanent Partial Disability Benefits in Georgia?

Temporary total disability essentially replaces a portion of the wages you lose while recovering from a work-related injury. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company is required to pay these benefits until your doctor clears you to return to work.

In contrast, permanent partial disability benefits are compensation for being permanently impaired due to your injuries. These benefits are designed to make up for the permanent damage you’ve suffered due to your injuries. Permanent partial disability benefits are awarded if you lose function in a specific body part. Permanent partial disability benefits are determined by state law and are paid out for a specific number of weeks.

How Are Temporary Total and Permanent Partial Disability Benefits Calculated?

Temporary total disability benefits cover two-thirds of the income you would normally earn if you were able to work. If you typically made $600 per week, you would be eligible to receive $400 per week in TTD. However, regardless of what your income was before the injury, you are only able to receive a maximum of $675 per week, with $50 per week being the minimum payment.

If your doctor determines that you have sustained a permanent disability as a result of a workplace accident, you would be entitled to receive Permanent Partial Disability benefits. Your benefit will be based on the type and extent of your permanent disability and the impairment rating given by your doctor. The doctor determines the ratings based upon Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairments, published by the American Medical Association. The amount of benefits for certain types of injuries is set by law. For example, if you suffered the loss of a leg or arm in a workplace accident you would receive a benefit equivalent to 225 weeks of disability pay.

How Do I Know What Type of Benefit I Am Receiving?

According to state law, workers’ compensation insurance companies are supposed to send you a form telling you which type of compensation you are eligible to receive once your claim is accepted. In practice, however, not all workers’ compensation insurance companies do this. This can make it difficult for workers to know what kind of benefit they are receiving or how long the benefit will be provided.

If you’re not directly told what kind of benefits you’re receiving, there are a few methods you can use to try to figure it out. Your weekly benefits checks may identify the type of benefits you’re receiving, or you might see the initials “TTD” (temporary total disability) or “PPD” (permanent partial disability) on the check memo line or the check stub.

Can I Receive Temporary Total and Permanent Partial Disability Benefits at the Same Time in GA?

Georgia law states that your employer’s workers comp insurance company is not required to pay permanent partial disability benefits while you are still entitled to either temporary total or temporary partial disability benefits.

Why Does It Matter Which Type of Benefit I Receive?

There are different time limits for temporary total and permanent partial disability benefits. Knowing the type of benefit you are receiving can help you understand how long you can expect to receive benefits.

A workers’ compensation attorney at Gregory Smith Law, LLC can outline the deadlines for requesting additional benefits depending on which benefits you have previously received.

How Long Can I Receive Benefits?

Any individual who sustained a workplace injury and is entitled to receive temporary total disability benefits will be able to collect total temporary disability benefits for up to 400 weeks after the date the injury was sustained. Your workers’ comp benefits may be reduced if your doctor releases you to return to work with restrictions or suspended if your doctor determines you are ready to go back to work without restrictions.

The maximum amount of time you can receive Permanent Partial Disability benefits depends on the type of injury you sustained:

  • Arm – 225 weeks
  • Leg – 225 weeks
  • Foot – 135 weeks
  • Hand – 160 weeks
  • Pinky finger – 25 weeks
  • Ring finger – 30 weeks
  • Middle finger – 35 weeks
  • Index finger – 40 weeks
  • Thumb – 60 weeks
  • Big toe – 30 weeks
  • Other toes – 20 weeks
  • Eye – 150 weeks
  • Partial hearing loss – 75 weeks
  • Total hearing loss – 150 weeks
  • Full body disability – 300 weeks
  • Disfigurement – unlimited

How Do I Get Permanent Partial Disability Benefits?

Before you qualify for a permanent partial disability benefits claim, you will most likely first be approved for either a temporary total disability (TTD) or possibly a temporary partial disability (TPD). Once you have reached maximum medical improvement— the point at which it’s believed that your medical condition will not improve with further medical treatment— your physician will assign you an impairment rating. At that point, your PPD benefits can be calculated based on the type of injury you have and the rating.

Understanding all the workers’ compensation benefits you are eligible to claim can be confusing and stressful. A knowledgeable and caring attorney at Gregory Smith Law, LLC can take the burden off your shoulders by filing your claim and helping you pursue all the benefits you are entitled to by law. If you have questions about the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia or if you have questions about the impairment rating you’ve been assigned, feel free to reach out to an attorney Gregory Smith Law today.

Get Help From An Experienced Georgia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

At Gregory Smith Law, LLC, we know how important it is for injured workers to get the benefits they need. If you are an injured employee, we can review your right to claim benefits and help you pursue the full workers’ compensation benefits you’re allowed under Georgia law.

Our workers’ compensation team can explain how the different benefits work, help you file a claim, and assist with any appeals if your claim is denied. Get a free case review for your GA workers’ compensation claim by calling our Augusta office or filling out our contact form.