Have you been injured on the job and need to claim workers’ compensation benefits in Atlanta? The workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance plan to provide benefits to employees who get injured on the job.
The system provides benefits for lost wages, medical expenses, disability benefits, and death benefits. However, insurance companies and employers are not always willing to give the compensation benefits an injured worker deserves.
This is why you need an experienced Atlanta workers compensation attorney from the Workers Compensation Lawyers Coalition Atlanta to help you with your benefits claim.
Our team of lawyers has extensive experience in handling cases for workers’ compensation benefits in Atlanta, Georgia. We have won millions of dollars of compensation benefits for our clients. We will take care of all of your legal responsibilities.
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What Are the Georgia Workers Compensation Income Limits?
In Georgia, the worker’s compensation pay is typically two-thirds of the average weekly salary although a lot depends on the actual salary and the time of the accident.
However, there are upper limits on the worker’s compensation pay. For instance, $675 is the maximum weekly payment for temporary total disability.
If two-thirds of an injured worker’s salary comes out to be more than $675 per week, they will still get a maximum of $675 only. However, these benefits are not taxed.
What Are the Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Atlanta?
In Georgia, there are 4 types of disability benefits paid under the worker’s compensation insurance. As far as the type of benefit awarded is concerned, it depends on the extent of disability as well as the time up to which it is expected to last.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
As per GA Code 34-9-261, an injured employee becomes eligible for temporary total disability benefits when the doctor determines that the employee is unable to work or they put the employee on light duty work and light-duty work isn’t available.
There is a waiting period of 7 days for the benefits to kick in. If the injured employee is out of work for 7 days, they are legally entitled to temporary total disability benefits. If the employee remains out of work for 21 days, they are also eligible to get paid for the waiting period.
These benefits are determined on the basis of the average weekly wage. The benefits are calculated as two-thirds of the average weekly wage. There is a maximum limit of $675 for a worker injured on or after July 1, 2019.
These workers’ compensation benefits in Atlanta can continue to be paid for a maximum of 400 weeks from the date of injury. If an authorized doctor gives a light-duty work release to an injured worker, these benefits might be limited to 52 consecutive weeks.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
These benefits are finding defined in GA Code 34-9-262. These benefits apply when the injured worker isn’t totally disabled. In such situations, they are granted partial disability status and are allowed to work in a light-duty capacity.
In short, you’re able to get back to work but you’re making less money as compared to the money you were making before the injury. These benefits are designed to cover a part of the wage difference that exists due to injury suffered while working.
These benefits are calculated at the rate of two-thirds of your average weekly wage. There is an upper limit of $450 per week and you can get these benefits for not more than 350 weeks from the date of the accident.
These benefits are typically paid only up to the date when it is determined by your doctor that you can get back to normal duty work.
Here is an example to help you understand better. Let’s say you were making $500 per week before the injury and after the injury, you are making $300 per week.
The difference between these 2 numbers comes to $200 and two-thirds of this amount is $133.33. This is the maximum amount you can get under temporary partial disability benefits.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
These benefits are determined by GA Code 34-9-263. An injured worker becomes eligible for PPD benefits once their doctor determines that they have reached maximum medical improvement or MMI.
Maximum medical improvement means that your medical condition or injury is not likely to improve further.
When an injured worker receives PPD benefits, they are not eligible to receive TPD or TTD benefits. These calculations are done on the basis of two-thirds of the average weekly wage and the maximum amount a worker can be paid per week is limited to $675.
It is the most common type of workers’ compensation claim. Workers also have the option of getting these benefits in one lump sum instead of weekly benefits.
As far as the calculation is concerned, it is made on the basis of impairment rating given by an authorized doctor which is then multiplied by the number of weeks allowed for the injured body part. For instance, the maximum number of weeks allowed for PPD benefits for thumb is 60 whereas 225 weeks are allowed for an arm.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
There is no such category in Georgia. However, workers are eligible to get workers’ compensation benefits in Atlanta for total disability on a permanent basis for a qualifying catastrophic injury.
If a worker loses both of their legs, feet, hands, arms, or a combination of two of these body parts, they are likely to qualify for total disability benefits on a permanent basis.
Losing vision permanently in both eyes is also a legal basis for qualifying for this type of compensation.
As far as the calculation is concerned, it would be the same as the calculation done for temporary total disability but the only difference will be that these benefits will be paid for a lifetime and won’t expire after 400 weeks.
How Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Atlanta Calculated?
There are 3 methods to determine the average weekly wage in Georgia:
- Actual Earning for 13 Weeks: The preferred method for calculating the average weekly wage of an injured worker is by calculating the average salary of the worker in the 13 weeks preceding the date of the accident. For instance, if an injured worker earned $26,000 during the 13 week period before his accident, their average weekly wage would be $2000.
- Similar Employee’s Earnings: In case the worker hasn’t worked substantially the whole of the past 13 weeks before the accident, the wages of another employee engaged in the same employment might be used for calculating the average weekly wage.
- Contracted Rate of Hire: If the above two methods cannot be used to determine the average weekly wage of an injured worker, this method can be used to make the determination. In this method, the hourly contracted wage fire of the employee is taken and multiplied with the number of hours they are contracted to work.
For instance, if the injured worker used to make $25 per hour and they were contracted to work 40 hours per week, their average weekly wage would come to $1000.
The calculation of the average weekly wage is extremely important as the worker’s compensation benefits calculation is based on this number.
Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Atlanta Taxed?
Worker’s Compensation benefits are not considered income under Georgia law as well as IRS codes. However, the settlement amount might need to be reported in certain circumstances.
Call Our Lawyers Today for Help Getting the Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Atlanta that You Deserve
The worker’s compensation laws are complex and this is why, you need an experienced attorney from the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition Atlanta, by your side to protect your rights and to help you get the benefits you deserve.
We have extensive experience in helping injured workers recover maximum workers’ compensation benefits in Atlanta for their injuries.