When most people get hurt at work, they’re able to file a worker’s compensation claim. As long as you meet the requirements, your claim will be approved, and you’ll collect benefits. There are certain rules and exceptions. For the most part, however, any employee in Georgia can collect workers compensation benefits.
For people who work for the government, it’s not always a guarantee that they can apply for workers comp. Generally speaking, there are a few groups of employees that are not covered under workers comp in Atlanta. These groups include:
- People who own a business or are self-employed
- Federal employees
- Railroad workers
- Independent contractors
- Domestic servants and nannies
Added to this list are state employees who hold public officer. If you are an officer of the state, in any capacity, you are not entitled to workers compensation benefits. Now, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have any recourse for a work-related injury. In some cases, it may mean just that. However, there are alternate programs for certain types of employees such as federal workers.
If you work for the government and you aren’t sure if you qualify for workers compensation in Atlanta, you should call our office and talk to an experienced workers comp lawyer.
What are the Rules for Workers Comp in Georgia?
No matter what type of work you do, there are certain requirements you have to meet in order to qualify for workers compensation in Georgia. Obviously, your injuries have to be work-related. But there are other criteria you must meet as well. These criteria include the following:
- You must report the accident to your employer – This is typically done by reporting it to your manager or Human Resources department.
- You submit to a drug test if your company policy requires it – If you refuse to take the drug test immediately following your accident, your claim may be denied. Your employer has a right to know if drugs or alcohol contributed to your accident. If you test positive, your claim will almost definitely be denied. However, depending on your company’s policies and procedures, they may offer you drug rehabilitation. They may also still agree to cover your medical bills.
- You must be treated by a company-approved doctor – Your employer does have a say in who will provide your medical treatment. Part of this has to do with their insurance company. But a larger part has to do with having a doctor treat you that is likely to release you to work quickly. However, your employer is required to offer you at least six (6) doctors to choose from.
- Your injuries did not take place while you were off the clock – Some people get hurt on a Sunday and then fake an injury on Monday. Employers have gotten tired of this over the years. And this makes sense. Your company shouldn’t have to pay for injuries that happened on personal time.
If you meet these certain criteria, there’s a good chance your workers comp claim in Atlanta will be approved.
What Should You Do if You Are a Federal Employee?
It may seem unfair that you aren’t allowed to file for workers compensation in Georgia if you’re a federal employee. However, you won’t be left out to dry. There is a program that takes care of federal workers who are hurt on the job. This is FECA – Federal Employees Compensation Act. Unlike your employer and their insurance company, federal workers comp claims are handled by a separate agency. This agency is the Office of Personnel Management. They work in conjunction with The Department of Labor’s Workers’ Compensation Programs. In a way, you’re better off under this program. You don’t have to worry about your employer telling the insurance company to deny your claim for what may seem like unfair or questionable reasons.
Under the FECA, you’ll be entitled to same benefits as you would receive in Georgia. These include:
- Medical care
- Replacement wages
- Guarantee of your position
- Retention of seniority and accrued benefits
Contact a Skilled Workers Comp Lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia
If you work for the local government and get hurt on the job, your claim will be handled like any other employee. However, if you work for the federal government, you’ll need to file your claim under the FECA. Your Atlanta workers comp attorney can help you do this. Call today and schedule your free initial consultation. Your attorney will make sure your claim is handled properly from the start.