If you are injured while on the job in Atlanta or anywhere in Georgia, it’s imperative to know how long you can receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Based on Georgia law, if you suffer injuries while working, you may receive workers’ compensation. This compensation is a type of accident insurance all employers with a set number of workers must purchase. It’s designed to cover medical and rehabilitation costs and provide injured workers income while they cannot work because of an on-the-job injury.
Unfortunately, on-the-job accidents occur every day in Georgia and can occur in almost any industry. Because of this, the state requires that employers have this insurance to protect workers. While this is true, the workers’ compensation law is complicated, and because of this, we recommend contacting our team at Hines Law if you are facing a workers’ compensation situation.
Who Is Eligible to Receive Workers’ Compensation in Atlanta?
Any business with three or more workers (this includes part-time and regular workers) is required by the state to have workers’ compensation insurance. If you experience an injury while you are working, you are eligible to receive compensation.
Every employee in the state of Georgia is covered under the business’s workers’ compensation insurance. You do not have to have worked at the establishment for a set amount of time to be eligible for this.
If you experienced an on-the-job injury, it’s important to notify your employer of the situation immediately. Additionally, you have up to one year from the date of the accident to file your workers’ compensation claim. If you do not file within the established time period, you may be disqualified from receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
How Long Can You Receive These Workers’ Comp Payments?
Once you submit your workers’ comp claim, the insurance company used by your employer should begin to pay your benefits. In most situations, you should receive your first check within 21 days after the first day that you miss work due to a sustained injury. In most situations, you can receive these benefits for a maximum of 400 weeks.
The amount of time you receive benefits may be longer or shorter based on the injury you suffered. For example, in an amputation case, someone who loses a toe may not receive benefits for as long as someone who lost a leg or arm.
If you can’t return to work after seven days, you can receive weekly benefits. Usually, these weekly payments will account for two-thirds of your usual weekly pay. While this is true, the figure is now fixed at $675 per week for any injuries that occurred on or after July 1st, 2019.
When a work-related accident results in you losing a body part, you can receive benefits for the amount of time outlined by law. In some unfortunate situations, the injury may be so catastrophic or devastating that you will receive these weekly benefits for the remainder of your life.
In Georgia, several factors will impact how long you receive benefits. These factors include:
- How severe the injury is
- If the injury impacts your ability to work
- If the injury has caused a disability
Also, suppose no recourse is taken to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. In that case, the insurer will stop the benefits if the physician they have authorized clears you for regular duty with no restrictions. Also, if you return to work and earn the same amount of money that you received before the injury, the checks may stop coming.
Additionally, workers’ comp benefits will usually include payment to treat the injury you suffered. You will likely continue to get these payments for as long as the prescribed treatment lasts. Your medical bills will continue to be paid until you reach MMI or maximum medical improvement. MMI is a point where medical treatment will no longer help or improve your condition.
If You Are Terminated, Can You Still Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Most people who receive workers’ compensation benefits have this question. Georgia uses an “at-will” employment system. This means that employers in the state have the right to fire staff members at any time, even if there is no “good” reason. It’s completely normal to be worried you will be fired and stop receiving benefits.
However, most employers will not fire you for filing a workers’ comp claim. If they do, you will still have a way to receive these benefits.
Contact Our Legal Team for More Information
There are more than a few factors to consider when it comes to workers’ compensation benefits. We recommend that you contact our Atlanta worker’s compensation lawyer at Hines Law for help with your case. We provide you with a free consultation to get to know the specifics of your case and ensure you get the benefits you deserve.