If you have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of a Jeffersonville workplace accident or suffered an occupational illness, your next step should be to file a workers’ compensation claim. Georgia’s workers’ compensation, as with many other states, is a no-fault system that provides benefits to employees injured or harmed while on the job. These workers’ compensation benefits in Jeffersonville, GA are meant to cover medical expenses, lost wages, disability, and loss of life.
Understandably, if you are in the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim, you are interested in finding out what types of compensation benefits you can recover in a Jeffersonville workers’ compensation claim, how compensation benefits are calculated, the maximum amount you can earn in a successful claim, and whether these benefits are taxed in Georgia.
Our attorneys at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition are prepared to offer you all the necessary legal assistance during this rough patch in your life. We have years of experience dealing with workers’ compensation cases and over the years, we’ve secured millions of dollars in compensation benefits for our clients.
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Georgia’s Compensation Income Limits
In general, the workers’ compensation payments in the State of Georgia are calculated as two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage. However, depending on the type of compensation benefits awarded and the date of injury, the payment will be limited to a certain maximum amount.
This means that if two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage exceeds the set maximum amount, they won’t receive the two-thirds but rather the maximum allowable amount.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Jeffersonville, GA
Georgia’s workers’ compensation act provides for the following types of compensation benefits:
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
Temporary partial disability or TPD benefits are awarded to individuals who are able to return to work with restrictions but are earning less than they used to prior to their injury – as a result of working at a reduced capacity or working fewer hours.
TPD benefits are meant to partially cover the wage difference that arises as a result of the injuries and are based on two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage. These benefits are capped at $450 per week (if the worker was injured on or after July 1st, 2019) and can only be paid for a maximum of 350 weeks.
Payment of temporary partial disability benefits typically ceases on the date the doctor determines that the employee is fit enough to return to normal work duty.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
These benefits are available to employees who are deemed to be unfit to return to work due to their injuries or are recommended for light duty by a doctor but ligh duty work isn’t available. An injured employee becomes legally entitled to TTD benefits if they stay out of work for 7 days, also referred to as “the waiting period,” after which the benefits for lost income kick in.
If an injured employee stays out of work for 21 days they will be entitled to TTD benefits as well as pay for the waiting period.
The weekly payments for TTD benefits will be calculated as two-thirds of the employee’s regular weekly wage and will be paid for a maximum of 400 weeks for employees injured after July 1st, 2019. However, if you suffered catastrophic total disability, the payments can go on for a lifetime.
In the event that you are granted a light-duty work release by an approved doctor, you will only receive TTD benefits for a maximum of 52 consecutive weeks or a total of 78 weeks after which they are reduced to temporary partial disability benefits.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
These types of benefits are available to injured employees who are determined to have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). This essentially means that the employee’s injury isn’t expected to improve further. PPD benefits are calculated at the rate of two-thirds the average weekly wages of the employee and the weekly payments are capped at $675 per week for employees injured on or after July 1st, 2019.
PPD benefits are determined by multiplying an impairment rating assigned by an authorized doctor by the number of weeks legally allowed based on the type of injury.
It is important to note that PPD benefits can be paid on a weekly basis or in a lump sum.
Note: While Permanent Total Disability Benefits aren’t part of Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Benefits, you can receive benefits on a permanent basis for certain types of catastrophic injuries.
How are Georgia Workers’ Compensation Benefits Calculated?
In Georgia, three techniques are typically used to calculate an employee’s average weekly wage:
Actual Earning in 13 Weeks
This is the most widely used method of determining an employee’s average weekly wage. This involves calculating the average salary earned by an employee in the course of 13 weeks leading to the date of the injury i.e. dividing the total salary earned by 13 weeks.
Similar Employee’s Earnings
In cases where an employee hasn’t worked consistently or substantially in the 13 weeks leading to the date of the injury, the salary of an employee at the same level as the injured employee will be used to calculate the average.
Contracted Rate of Hire
This method is ideal for contracted employees who work on an hourly basis. Here, the weekly average pay is determined by multiplying the rate per hour by the number of hours the employee is contracted to work per week.
Are Georgia Workers’ Compensation Benefits Taxed?
No, as per Georgia State Law and the IRS codes, workers’ compensation benefits are not considered part of an individual’s income, thus they aren’t taxable. However, in some instances, you might be required to report the settlement amount.
Contact a Jeffersonville Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today!
Handling a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia on your own can quickly get overwhelming. As you can see, there are a lot of aspects involved and things to keep in mind when dealing with such a claim. And this is not to mention, the many challenges injured employees face such as pushback from employers and their insurance companies.
Our attorneys at the Workers Compensation Lawyers Coalition have extensive experience dealing with such cases and we understand all the nuances of Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws. We know how to effectively deal with insurance companies, and we will fight hard to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries.
We can help ensure you get your deserved workers’ compensation benefits in Jeffersonville. Gives us a call today at 770-796-0919 to set up a free case review!