Workers’ compensation can be challenging to navigate. It requires lots of documentation and following of protocol to ensure you receive the benefits to which you are entitled. It takes much patience to go through the process, especially while you are recovering from a workplace injury.
The good news is the state of Georgia changed a few laws in July 2019, reports Athens CEO, to make them more beneficial to employees. Although securing benefits may still be trying, you will now have better benefits in some areas.
Catastrophic injuries qualify for lifelong medical benefits
In 2013, the state put a limit on the duration of benefits (400 weeks). However, advocates finally got the law to change for those who sustained a catastrophic injury. Medical benefits will now last the length of the worker’s life.
Rates increase for temporary disability
Whether you experience a temporary partial or temporary total disability, the benefit rates are now higher. TPD rates are up to two-thirds of the difference between the wages you earned before your injury and the wages you are earning in a lower-paying position after your injury. TPD went from a maximum of $383 weekly to $425 weekly.
The calculation of TTD benefits is two-thirds of your average pay per week before you became injured. TTD changed from a cap of $100 weekly to $675 weekly. The extra compensation can make all the difference for you and your family while you are unable to work at all.
Surviving family members receive more benefits
What if you are not a worker but the surviving family member of an employee who died from a workplace accident or injury? You used to only be able to receive no more than $575 a week with a total of $230,000. The new law allows you to receive up to $675 a week with a total of $270,000. Spouses receive the money for the greater of 400 weeks or age 65, whereas children receive benefits until 18 years old or 22 if in college.