When workers are no longer able to work because of a work-related illness or injury, they may be eligible to collect workers comp benefits. These benefits can help to supplement a loss of income and can keep workers financially stable until they are able to return to work.
If you’re applying for worker’s compensation benefits in Athens, it’s important to build a strong case right from the start. Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition can answer your questions about workers’ comp and can ensure you get the payments you need.
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What are the Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Income Limits?
Each state has its own laws regarding workers’ comp. In Georgia, benefits are typically two-thirds of a worker’s mean weekly income. Overtime wages are included when calculating these weekly averages. As of 2019, weekly benefits are capped at $1,028. Individuals with a higher salary will not be eligible to receive more than this.
There are also time limits that determine how long an individual is eligible to receive benefits. While most workers will receive benefits for a maximum of 500 weeks, there are some exceptions to this. Workers that are no longer able to earn wages may be able to receive benefits for the rest of their lives.
What are the Types of Workers Compensation Benefits in Athens?
The compensation a worker will receive after qualifying for workers’ comp benefits will vary based on the type of benefits they are eligible for. Before, you’ll find an overview of the types of benefits that are available to workers in Georgia.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits in GA Workers’ Comp (TTD)
If a worker is completely unable to work because of a work related illness or injury, they are entitled to receive temporary total disability benefits. These benefits will continue until a worker returns to work without limitations. Workers may lose benefits if they do not comply with a vocational rehabilitation plan or refuse gainful employment.
Workers that are unable to return to work for more than seven days because of a work-related illness or injury could be eligible to receive weekly payments equivalent to two-thirds of their mean weekly wage. Workers are not eligible to receive payments for the first missed week of work unless they are out of work for more than 21 days. Workers that miss fewer than eight days of work are not eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits in GA Workers’ Comp (TPD)
In some cases, a worker may be able to resume working after an injury, but they may not be able to earn as much money as they did before the accident. In these scenarios, individuals may be eligible to receive temporary partial disability benefits. These benefits are equivalent to two-thirds of the difference between the worker’s average weekly wages prior to the accident and their current average weekly wages.
Workers can receive these benefits for up to 350 weeks. Like with TTD benefits, there is a seven-day waiting period for benefits. Many injured workers must seek new employment or reduce hours after an accident. With TPD, the reduction in wages is easier to manage.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits in GA Workers’ Comp (PPD)
Workers that are still impaired after healing from an injury may be eligible to receive PPD benefits. In these scenarios, individuals will be assessed by a medical professional and will be given a permanent partial impairment rating. This rating is designed to represent the degree of permanent damage to the injured body part.
Once an individual has been assigned a rating, they may be able to receive a lump sum payment. If individuals are eligible for both wage-loss benefits and PPD benefits, Georgia law allows workers to choose the option that will provide them with the most money.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits in GA Workers’ Comp (PTD)
If an illness or injury leaves a worker permanently disabled, they may qualify for PPD benefits. These payments are equivalent to temporary total disability payments, but workers are eligible to receive payments for the rest of their life.
These benefits are designed for individuals that will never be able to work again, which is why they are only available to workers with specific types of disabilities. Injuries that could qualify a worker for PPD could include paralysis, brain injuries, loss of limbs, or severe burns.
How Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Athens Calculated?
In order to calculate the benefits a worker is eligible to collect, it’s necessary to determine what the worker’s compensation rate is. The correct rate is the highest average weekly wage for the worker. Average wages will be based on the wages the worker was paid in the last year. Extra pay for overtime work and bonuses are included.
After the compensation rate has been calculated, it will not change over time. Even if an individual continues to receive benefits for years, they will be paid the same amount. If you believe that your benefits were incorrectly calculated, or if the payments you receive are less than you initially promised, Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition can assess your case and ensure that you receive the payments you are owed.
Are Athens Workers Compensation Benefits Taxed?
Workers’ comp benefits are not taxed in the state of Georgia. Benefits are also not taxed by the federal government. Both weekly payments and settlements are tax exempt. Survivor payments to the families of deceased workers are tax exempt as well.
Although TPD payments are not taxable, workers will still pay taxes on any wages that they receive. If a worker retires because of an illness or injury, their retirement benefits will still be taxed as usual. Tax laws surrounding structured settlements and annuities are complex, which is why it’s best to consult with an attorney before accepting a settlement.
On-the-job accidents can leave you with medical bills and an inability to earn wages. Although workers’ compensation benefits are designed to protect workers, it isn’t always easy to collect the benefits that you’re entitled to. In fact, in Georgia, approximately 75% of all disability claims are initially turned down.
Call One of Our Lawyers Today for Help with Claiming Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Athens
That’s why it’s crucial to work with experienced professionals that can assess your case and provide you with support throughout this difficult process. Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition specializes in workers’ comp cases and can offer you the assistance that you need. Just call 770-796-0919 to schedule a free case evaluation.