Macon Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The Georgia workers’ compensation system is meant to pay your medical bills and replace a portion of your lost wages if you are injured on the job, and you are covered from your first day on the job at any Georgia workplace that employs three or more regular full-time or part-time employees. Getting workers’ compensation benefits should be as simple as reporting the injury, but it isn’t. Your employer or their insurance carrier might dispute your injury or say it’s not work-related. They might allege your injury is the result of willful misconduct or even intentional. They could say you failed to follow required procedures for reporting the injury, failed to use safety equipment, were drunk on the job, violated a workplace rule, or are otherwise not entitled to workers’ compensation, such as by being an exempt independent contractor. In any of these situations, a skilled workers’ compensation attorney can push back and help you get the benefits that are due to you.
Below is a look at the benefits you could be entitled to as a Georgia employee injured on the job. If your claim for workers’ compensation benefits is denied, if you aren’t receiving the benefits you should, or if your benefits get cut off before you are ready to return to work, Buzzell, Welsh & Hill can help. Contact our experienced Macon workers’ compensation benefits attorneys today.
Workers’ compensation should pay for all authorized doctor bills, hospital bills, physical therapy, prescriptions, and travel expenses necessary to receive services. These benefits are paid directly to the providers by the insurer and not out of your pocket. One catch is that you need to see a doctor authorized by your employer, although you can select from a list provided to you. Another catch is that the doctor or an independent medical examiner might say your injury isn’t work-related, or that your injury is not bad enough to keep you from working or require treatment. If the medical aspect of your workers’ comp case is disputed, our workers’ compensation benefits lawyers know the proper steps to take to advocate on your behalf.
Wage Replacement Benefits
If you miss more than seven days of work due to your injury, you can start receiving wage replacement benefits. If you miss more than 21 consecutive days of work, you can be paid for the first week you missed as well.
Wage replacement benefits are paid for a temporary total disability (TTD) or a temporary partial disability (TPD). The benefit amount equals two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to the state maximum, which is currently $725. These benefits are payable for as long as you are out of work, up to 400 weeks.
If you can work with restrictions such as light duty at a lower rate of pay, you can receive a reduced benefit of up to $483 per week for as long as 350 weeks.
If you are permanently partially disabled (PPD), you can receive weekly benefits, whether or not you are able to return to work. Your treating physician will assign a disability rating after consulting the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, fifth edition (AMA Guides), based on the type and extent of disability. This disability rating determines how much you’ll receive and for how long.
After a catastrophic injury, you could be entitled to lifetime benefits. Georgia workers’ compensation also provides vocational rehabilitation benefits for injured workers who can’t go back to their old job but could work in a new field with the proper training.
For workers who die in a workplace accident or due to a work-related injury or illness, Georgia workers’ comp provides benefits to the surviving spouse, children, and dependent stepchildren of the deceased worker. The benefit amount equals two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage, subject to state maximums. A widowed spouse with no children can receive up to $290,000 in total benefits, although benefits can be terminated if the widowed spouse remarries or moves in with a new partner.
Contact Buzzell, Welsh & Hill Today
If you are not getting the workers’ compensation benefits due to you because your claim has been denied, underpaid, unreasonably delayed or prematurely terminated, Buzzell, Welsh & Hill can help. Call our experienced Macon workers’ compensation benefits lawyers today for a free consultation.