Total disability means an injury that has impaired the physical and/or mental ability of a person so much that they can never again resume their normal occupational or non-occupational activities. This type of disability remains with the person even after they’ve healed as much as possible.
As long as a worker is, under the definition of total disability, unable to perform the duties required for their job, they’re typically able to collect full total disability even if they begin earning income and working in another job. However, some insurance companies define total disability coverage in a way that does not provide benefits for a person who chooses to work for another job.
Either way, someone who suffers from a total disability should qualify for payments to replace wages they otherwise would have been earning if they hadn’t been disabled in a way that prevents their ability to do their job. In Georgia, these benefits are provided through workers compensation insurance their employer is required to carry for all workers.
Total Disability vs. Partial Disability Benefits
Both total and partial disability benefits are meant to protect you if you’re injured because of work-related circumstances. However, the two are different in significant ways:
- A permanent partial disability means the worker is still able to function some in their job, but not at their former full capacity. Hearing loss, back injuries, amputation, and vision damage are all common examples of permanent partial disability. This type of disability is more common and makes up about half of all workers compensation claims
- A permanent total disability means the workers are completely disabled due to a work-related injury or illness and is no longer able to perform work in the way they were trained. Permanent total disabilities are very severe, including the loss of hands, arms, legs, feet, or both eyes
How Georgia Total Disability Benefits Work
In Georgia, temporary total disability benefits are paid to employees who are unable to work because of their injuries for more than seven days. The injured worker received two-thirds of the average weekly wage they were receiving before the injury—with an exception. In July of 2017, Georgia placed a cap on these benefits of no more than $575 per week. The worker will continue to get these benefits either until 400 weeks have passed or the worker reaches their maximum medical improvement.
Once you are fully treated for your injuries, your doctor will evaluate you for a permanent disability. If you’re determined to have a permanent and total disability as a result of your work, under Georgia law, you’ll continue to receive your weekly disability payments for the rest of your life at the same rate.
If you were injured at work, you’re entitled to financial recovery that helps you cover your treatment costs and, if you were disabled, get the compensation needed to continue supporting yourself as you transition to the life changes caused by your injury.
Speak to a Workers Compensation Lawyer Today for Free
Workers compensation should cover your costs if you were injured at work, but sometimes the insurance company doesn’t pay out what you actually need to recover. It’s best to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer who can help. At John Foy & Associates, our attorneys are dedicated to helping injured workers get back on their feet and recover as fully as possible—even if that means securing regular benefits they need because of a disability. For a FREE consultation to talk about your situation and your options, call us at 404-400-4000, or fill out the form to the right.