You wake up early every day to go to work and provide for your family. The last thing on your mind is getting injured or harmed while on the job. However, regardless of your occupation, accidents at work are quite common and they can leave you dealing with serious injuries, hefty medical bills, and out of work for an unspecified amount of work. Fortunately, if your employer has three employees, you can be sure that you are financially protected under Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws.
While you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in Lithia Springs that help cover your medical bills and lost wages, the process of acquiring these benefits isn’t easy. Besides the complex laws and procedures surrounding workers’ compensation claims in Georgia, you also have to deal with potential resistance from your employer and their insurance company.
Injured employees may not seek the compensation they deserve due to not knowing their rights, how such claims work, or out of fear of how filing a claim will affect their relationship with their employer. This is where our Lithia Springs workers’ compensation lawyers can help.
Here at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition, we believe that if you’ve been injured while on the job, you deserve the full workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to. We can help you understand your rights and help make the process of recovering benefits much easier for you. Call us today at 770-796-0919 for a free case review.
Georgia Workers’ Compensation Benefits Limits
Understandably, if you’ve been injured at work and are planning on filing a Georgia workers’ compensation claim, you might be interested in finding out how much you can expect to be paid if your claim is successful.
Typically, successful claimants are paid at the rate of two-thirds their average weekly wage. This means calculating two-thirds of what you earn on average per week. However, this is subject to adjustments depending on your salary amount, type of disability suffered, and date of the injury.
The state of Georgia has set out the maximum amounts that can be paid per week and the maximum number of weeks these payments can be paid out depending on your extent of disability and the date your injury happened.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Lithia Springs, Georgia
Georgia workers’ compensation benefits are split into four categories depending on the extent of injury and level of disability. In this case, disability is the incapacity of an employee to go back to work and continue their normal duties.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD)
These benefits can be found in Georgia code 34-9-261. TTD benefits are available to injured workers who are deemed unable to return to work in their current condition by a doctor or are recommended for light-duty work where there is no light-duty work. However, for these benefits to kick in, the employee must have stayed out of work for a minimum of 7 days, also known as the waiting period. If you remain out of work for 21 consecutive days, then you will also receive benefits for the initial 7 days.
TTD benefits are calculated as two-thirds of your weekly pay but are limited to a maximum of $675 per week and can only be paid for up to 450 weeks from the date of injury.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD)
In reference to GA code 34-9-262, workers who aren’t totally disabled or are able to return to work but on light-duty work and earn lower pay than they used to before suffering the injury are entitled to temporary partial disability benefits.
These benefits are determined on the basis of two-thirds the average weekly pay but are limited to a maximum of $450 per week for a maximum of 350 weeks from the date of the injury.
To be clear, these benefits are designed to only offset two-thirds of the wage difference caused by the employee’s injury. This means that you will be receiving your new salary plus two-thirds of the difference between your previous higher salary and your new lower salary.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD)
These benefits are contained in GA code 34-9-263. If a doctor determines that you have achieved maximum medical improvement (MMI), then you will be entitled to PPD benefits. In this case, the doctor will have determined that your condition cannot improve any further.
These benefits are based on two-thirds of the average weekly income but are limited to a maximum of $675 per week. You can opt to be paid on a weekly basis or in a lump sum.
To calculate PPD benefits, you multiply your impairment rating (provided after evaluation by an authorized doctor) by the number of weeks allowed by the State of Georgia for the said injured body part.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD)
Injured employees who suffer a qualifying catastrophic injury will be entitled to receive benefits for total disability for the remainder of their life. These payments are determined on the same basis as temporary partial benefits but don’t have a limit on the number of weeks payable.
How Are Georgia Workers’ Compensation Benefits Calculated?
Your average weekly earnings form the basis of calculations for your workers’ compensation benefits. Typically, to determine your average weekly earnings, you calculate your average income for the past 13 consecutive weeks leading up to your injury.
If you haven’t worked substantially for this period of time then the earnings of another similar employee will be used.
This average is what is typically used in making the calculations described above for each type of disability.
Are Georgia Workers’ Compensation Benefits Taxable?
Fortunately, benefits received from a successful workers’ compensation claim are not taxable. The State of Georgia as well as the IRS doesn’t consider these as part of an employee’s income. However, under certain circumstances, you might be required to report the settlement amount.
Call Our Lithia Springs Workers’ Comp Lawyers
Have you suffered a work-related injury or illness? You need to get in touch with a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition as soon as possible to protect your rights to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Lithia Springs, GA.
The workers’ compensation claims process is complex and there are many common pitfalls you need to avoid right from your date of injury to avoid jeopardizing your rights to compensation. We will offer the professional legal guidance you need to ensure your claim is successful and that you receive the full benefits owed to you.
Call us today at 770-796-0919 for a free, no-obligation consultation!