Every year, the Workers’ Compensation laws change. They do this in July for some reason. Usually, the changes are minimal. For example, in 2013, they had changed the law so that lifetime medical care for injured workers was limited to 400 weeks. This year, there were several important changes to Georgia workers’ comp benefits. Thankfully, most of these changes have to do with the amount of your weekly benefits and actually benefit workers.
It’s important to know what you’re entitled to when it comes to workers’ comp. If you get hurt at work, you could be out of commission for a while. The problem is that a lot of people don’t realize that they don’t receive their normal pay while out on workers’ compensation. This means it can be hard to pay your normal household bills. With the economy being what it is, most people live paycheck to paycheck. They don’t have money put aside in savings to tide them over if they do get injured. This is why it can be frustrating to hear people say being out on workers’ comp is like being on vacation.
While your Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney can’t change the laws, they can make sure you get the benefits you’re entitled to. They can’t get you more than the normal rate, but they can help if, for some reason, your claim is denied. They can also work hard to get you the largest settlement possible if you end up being permanently disabled as a result of your work-related injury or illness. This is why it’s a good idea to call and talk to one of our experienced workers’ comp lawyers right away.
Georgia Workers’ Comp Weekly Benefits Have Actually Increased for 2019
Up until this year, the maximum amount of weekly benefits you could receive was $575. It has now been increased a full $100 to $675. While this is the biggest increase we’ve seen in almost 20 years, it’s still less than a lot of other states. Basically, while you’re out on workers’ comp, you get two-thirds of what you normally earned per week. So, if you were making $700 per week, you’ll get about $490 on workers’ comp. However, just because you make a lot more than other people doesn’t guarantee you’ll get much more in benefits. Since the cap is only $675, if you earn about $1,000 or more per week, you’re not going to get much more than the maximum amount. This is why the $100 increase is significant. It means that people earning close to $50,000 per year will still fit in just under the maximum amount allowed.
Lifetime Access to Medical Treatment Hasn’t Technically Changed
If you’re deemed 100% totally disabled because of your work accident, you’ll be entitled to medical care for a long time. Medical treatment lasts just as long as your weekly benefits. This means that you’ll be able to receive treatment for your injuries for 400 weeks, or about 8 years. The only way this is extended is if you suffer a catastrophic injury. If that’s the case, you’ll be eligible for lifetime medical treatment. However, under the new law, you will be entitled to certain treatment for life. When it comes to durable medical equipment, you will be entitled to have it repaired or replaced for as long as you live. This may not sound like much. However, if you end up in a wheelchair as a result of your work-related accident, it’s good to know your wheelchair will be covered for life. Electric wheelchairs are thousands of dollars. You shouldn’t have to pay for this if your injury was caused by your job.
If You’re Hurt at Work, Call Our Office in Atlanta Right Away
If you’re injured in any sort of work accident, you should probably call an experienced workers’ comp attorney in Atlanta. They have decades of experience handling cases just like yours. They know what benefits you’re entitled to. They also know how to prove your permanent disability. They’ll work with doctors and experts to get you the maximum amount of compensation in your settlement.
You are allowed to handle your claim all on your own if you choose. However, why take the risk that you won’t submit your claim properly? It’s a good idea to have an expert by your side. Call our Georgia workers’ compensation law firm today and schedule your first consultation. It costs you absolutely nothing and you don’t pay a dime until you settle your case.