The Workers’ Compensation Process In Georgia

Learn how the workers’ compensation program in the State of Georgia operates and what benefits you may be eligible for if injured on the job.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, a total of 3.2 out of every 100 workers recorded nonfatal workplace-related injuries or illnesses in the state of Georgia. Many of these cases would logically have resulted in workers' compensation claims being filed. All people in the workforce should understand what this program offers and how it works in the event that they are ever injured or develop illnesses because of work-related situations.

Workers' Compensation Benefits In The Event Of Death

For people who are killed due to on-the-job incidents whether falling accidents, explosions, fires or otherwise, the state's workers' compensation program does offer some benefits to surviving family members, as noted by the State Board of Workers' Compensation Bill of Rights.

For spouses when there are no children, the program will pay up to a maximum of $150,000 in benefits so long as the spouse does not remarry or live with a new partner. For dependents, up to $7,500 for funeral or other associated expenses. Additionally, weekly benefits amounting to 66 percent of the deceased person's earnings will be paid but will not exceed $500 per week.

Workers' Compensation Benefits For Nonfatal Injuries Or Illnesses

Regardless of the nature of a qualifying illness or injury, approved claims will be paid at a rate of 66 percent of normal earnings, up to a maximum of $500 per week. For those cases considered to involve catastrophic injuries, this benefit will continue indefinitely. For all other cases, benefits will be paid for a maximum of 400 weeks, or just over seven and a half years.

Catastrophic injuries include the following:

  • Loss of arms or legs
  • Blindness
  • Serious burns
  • Some head injuries
  • Extreme paralysis

Other conditions which prevent injured parties from resuming work can also be classified in the catastrophic category.

If employees are able to return to work but can only perform jobs that pay less than what was being earned previously, the workers' compensation program will also pay some benefits to accommodate for the reduced income.

What Forms Are Involved In The Claims Process?

The state requires that injured employees or their surviving family members file the Form WC-14 be filed with the State Board of Workers' Compensation, the employer and the workers' compensation insurer. This form is available at the state office as well as online. Any denials can be appealed through the state office.

How Should Employees Get Help?

No matter the nature of an incident, when an on-the-job accident or illness arises, talking to an attorney can help. Ensuring that all documentation is adequately provided is one way to help prevent workers' compensation claim denials.

Keywords: workers' compensation, injury, job