Georgia workers who have suffered workplace injuries may be concerned about the level of medical and income coverage they may be entitled to receive. They may find comfort in knowing that all medical expenses, including prescription payments and traveling expenses, are typically paid by their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Workers’ compensation regulations state that a worker may not be billed by medical providers and that they should not be responsible for any amounts due.
In addition to all medical expenses, an injured worker may also receive compensation for rehabilitation — both vocational and medical. The workers’ compensation rules changed on June 30, 2013. Victims of workplace accidents that occurred after that date will receive free medical treatment for up to 400 weeks. However, those who suffered catastrophic injuries may be awarded lifetime benefits.
Depending on the duration of the injured worker’s absence, income benefits are paid weekly, with the first payment issued within three weeks after the first day of absence. There is a limit of $525.00 to the maximum weekly benefit allowed, but wage benefits typically equal two-thirds of the victim’s average weekly income. As with the medical benefits, the income benefits may continue for up to 400 weeks. However, benefits may be limited to a lower amount in cases where workers can return to the workplace with some restrictions or limitations.
Georgia victims of workplace accidents may find the claims process for workers’ compensation benefits intimidating at a time when they are battling to cope with their injuries and anxious about the welfare of their family while they are absent from work. There is help available in protecting their rights and in working to ensure that they receive all benefits they are entitled to. Information about how we can help you is available on our website.
Source: sbwc.georgia.gov, “Frequently asked questions and answers about Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Law”, , Aug. 30, 2014