The size of the business that you work for does not play as big of a role as you may think in whether you can get workers’ compensation benefits for a work injury. Each state creates its own rules for the workers’ compensation system. While other states may only require coverage for employers with a lot of employees, Georgia generally requires coverage for any employer with at least three employees.
Having this coverage is actually a good thing for your employer because the system is “no-fault.” This generally means you will get benefits regardless of who caused the accident. As your employer is required to provide workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was at-fault, workers’ compensation insurance coverage potentially protects your employer from incurring the costly expense of paying you medical and income benefits directly if you suffer an injury at work. In fact, many small employers will have coverage even if they have less than 3 employees so that they can have the protection this coverage provides.
Other than this, everything about the system is exactly the same for a small employer as it is for a larger one. You have the same basic benefits that anyone else does.
For example, you have the right to file a claim and receive benefits to cover your medical expenses. Depending on the treating physician’s opinion on your ability to work, if you miss more than seven days from work due to your injury, you may have the right to lost wage payments of 2/3 of your regular pay, up to a maximum amount set by the state of Georgia. Lastly, if you suffer an injury that will be permanent and affect you forever, you may be entitled to benefits to compensate you for the permanent injury.
Just because your employer is a small business does not mean it does not have to follow the law when it comes to carrying workers’ compensation insurance. You can check with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation to make sure your employer has the proper coverage.
This information is for education and is not legal advice.