If you’ve been injured at work, you have a right to obtain workers’ compensation, also known as workers’ comp benefits. By filing a workers’ comp claim, you can receive weekly income benefits, payments for your medical expenses, and other types of benefits as you recover from your injuries.
A serious injury can leave you unable to work for weeks or even months, which is why it’s understandable to ask if workers’ compensation pays full salary in Georgia. If you’ve found yourself asking this question, the Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers at John Foy & Associates have an answer for you.
Workers’ Compensation in Georgia Pays Two-Thirds
According to workers’ compensation law, there is a limit to the amount of money you can receive from a claim. If your injuries prevent you from working for at least seven days, temporary total disability benefits should provide two-thirds of the weekly wage you were making before your accident.
If you’re pursuing wage benefits, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the following rules:
- Although the rule is two-thirds of your regular weekly wage, benefits are capped at $675 per week, no matter how much more you made before you were injured.
- If you cannot work for 21 days straight, you will also receive payment for the first seven days you were disabled.
- You can’t receive temporary disability payments for longer than 400 weeks unless you have a catastrophic injury. If you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury, you may qualify for life-long benefits.
- You will continue receiving two-thirds of your full salary until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), which is the point where your condition has improved as much as it possibly can with treatment.
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What Temporary Partial Disability Pays in Georgia
If you’ve recovered enough to return to work but are still earning less than before, you may be eligible to receive temporary partial disability benefits. If so, you will receive two-thirds of the difference between what you earned before (on average, per week) and what you can earn now.
Here’s an example of how payments for temporary partial disability benefits would work:
- Before you were injured, you were making $1,000 per week.
- After your injury, you can only take on lighter work and earn $600 per week.
- The difference between your former weekly wage and your current wage is $400.
- Two-thirds of the $400 difference is about $267 per week.
It’s important to remember that Georgia also has a cap on temporary partial disability payments. According to the state’s workers’ compensation law, you can receive up to $450 per week and may qualify for benefits up to 350 weeks from the injury date.
Some workers, such as seasonal employees, may not have an accurate weekly wage to calculate their benefits. If this is the case for you, an experienced lawyer can use alternative measures to calculate your wages.
Other Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Georgia
In addition to lost wage benefits, a variety of other helpful benefits are available to you as an injured worker. Depending on your circumstances, you may have access to several or more of the following benefits:
Workers’ comp should pay for any medical care you need to recuperate from your work-related injury. That said, you must receive medical care from an authorized medical professional listed in your employer’s workers’ compensation policy to remain eligible for benefits.
If you are unsure who to see, reach out to your employer or a trusted attorney. Doing so can help you protect your right to weekly benefits and maintain financial stability.
Some workplace accidents result in long-term injuries and even permanent disabilities. Workers who sustain injuries like these often require ongoing medical treatment, such as physical therapy or rehabilitation, to regain their health.
If your doctor has told you that you’ll need medical care in the future to treat or manage a lasting injury, the money you receive from a workers’ compensation claim should cover your treatment expenses.
If you are the dependent of a deceased worker who has passed away from a job injury, you’ll be eligible to receive two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage. You may receive less if you are only partially dependent on the worker.
As a surviving family member, you may also receive up to $7,500 for burial and funeral expenses. If you’re unsure how much compensation you’re entitled to receive from death benefits, a compassionate attorney can assess your situation and determine how much you’re owed.
So, Does Workers’ Compensation Pay Full Salary in Georgia?
As you can see from the above information, the answer is “no.” However, we find that regular payments at two-thirds of full salary help many workers support themselves and their families while they are away from work getting treatment.
Although most workers have the right to these benefits, some may need legal help to get them. In some cases, workers’ compensation insurance companies will look for opportunities to reduce what they pay on a claim.
If that’s the case for you, a skilled workers’ compensation attorney can deal with the insurer and negotiate an outcome that works for you.
How to Make Sure Workers’ Compensation Pays a Portion of Your Salary and Other Benefits
Although your employer should help you get access to your benefits, there are situations where it might be difficult to get the payments you’re owed. Here’s what you can do to improve your chances of receiving the correct benefits after a workplace injury:
Report the Work Injury
Since you have limited time to notify your employer about a workplace injury, report the accident to your supervisor as soon as you can. If you wait over a month to report what happened, you could lose your benefits completely. It’s best to notify your employer about the injury as soon as possible while everything is fresh in your mind.
File Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
According to Georgia’s workers’ compensation law, injured employees must fill out Form WC-14 and file it with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. You must also send a copy to your employer and the workers’ comp insurance company.
Seek Medical Attention and Follow Treatment Plans
Your employer must provide a list of at least six doctors you can choose from for your treatment. You should only see one of these authorized physicians. Otherwise, your medical costs may not be covered.
That said, if you’ve sustained life-threatening or severe injuries and need emergency medical attention, you should seek care from whichever hospital or medical provider is closest to you. Emergency costs will usually be covered even if you see an unapproved medical care provider.
No matter what type of injury you’ve suffered, make sure you are following all treatment plans as outlined by your doctor. Failure to keep up with your treatment could cost you certain benefits.
Keep Track of Missed Work Time
Starting with the first day, record all the days and hours your injuries prevent you from working. You will need this information to obtain the weekly wages available under your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
It’s smart to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Georgia. They’ll have what it takes to negotiate with stubborn insurers and pursue all the workers’ comp benefits you’re eligible to receive. They’ll ensure your rights are upheld so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Workers’ Comp Attorney
If you’re already dealing with significant wage losses and expensive medical bills, you might be unsure whether paying for an attorney is worth it. Luckily, most personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis. That means they won’t charge you for the legal counsel and representation they provide.
Instead, they’ll take a percentage of the payment you receive from your employer’s insurance provider. If they lose your case, there won’t be a workers’ compensation settlement for them to take a portion of, so you won’t have to pay them attorney fees.
Talk to a Georgia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Free Today
Don’t miss out on compensation program benefits you’re entitled to receive after a workplace accident. Instead, contact John Foy & Associates and schedule a free consultation with a highly qualified lawyer. Even though workers’ compensation benefits won’t pay your full salary in Georgia, a skilled attorney can get you the payments you need to pay your medical bills and support yourself.
Our firm has over 20 years of experience assisting injured workers like yourself. We’re confident that we have the knowledge and resources to guide you through the claims process and get the outcome you deserve. We look forward to hearing from you soon and helping you file a claim for benefits.