Workers who get injured on the job go through financial stress and mental anguish after a workplace accident. Often, they have to foot hospital bills and spend some time off work to recover. However, such workers who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in Rex.
Depending on the severity and duration of the work-related injury or illness, a worker can receive various types of benefits to cover their medical expenses or lost wages. These factors will also determine the amount of money to be paid and how long it will be disbursed. However, Georgia law puts limits on the income amounts and duration of these benefits.
If you have been injured while on the clock and are unsure of the benefits you are entitled to, it is important that you speak to an attorney. Call the office of the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition today at 770-796-0919 to speak to one of our Rex workers’ compensation lawyers about your rights and benefits.
Georgia Workers’ Compensation Income Limits
Every state will have a unique set of workers’ comp laws. In Georgia, the Workers’ Compensation Act provides income limits to the various benefits available to injured workers. For instance, if you’re eligible for temporary total disability (TTD) benefits, you can’t receive more than $675 per week. What’s more, temporary disability benefits can’t be disbursed for more than 400 weeks from the date of the injury, unless your injury is deemed catastrophic.
There is also a cap on temporary partial disability benefits – $450 per week, and these benefits are available for a maximum of 350 weeks from the date of the injury. For medical benefits, there is a 400-week limit unless your injury is deemed catastrophic under Georgia law.
Other benefits such as death benefits have limits too, as surviving couples can receive no more than $270,000 in death benefits if there are no other dependents. Survivors may also receive benefits to cover funeral expenses, which may not exceed $7,500.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Rex
Besides medical benefits, the other common type of benefits are income benefits. These are awarded depending on the severity of your injury and are generally categorized as temporary disability benefits and permanent disability benefits. These benefits are further explained below.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits in Georgia Workers’ Comp (TTD)
You may be entitled to temporary total disability benefits if your injury prevents you from working for at least 7 days. As such, these benefits will not be awarded until you’ve been off work for that amount of time. However, payment for the first 7 days can be made if you take 21 straight days off work due to your injury.
Temporary total disability benefits will continue until you reach what is known as maximum medical improvement (MMI). This usually means that your condition has improved as much as your doctor expects it to with treatment.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits in Georgia Workers’ Comp (TPD)
These benefits are awarded if you are injured but can return to work in a limited capacity. This would mean that you earn less than your pre-injury wages. In most cases, your treating doctor will approve light-duty work for you before you reach maximum medical improvement if they establish that you can still work even after your injury. If you resume work at lower or differential pay (usually less than your pre-injury wage), then you receive temporary partial disability benefits.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits in Georgia Workers’ Comp (PPD)
In some cases, you suffer physical impairments (or loss of function) that, although permanent, don’t totally limit your ability to work. If your work-related injury results in such a case, you may be in line to receive permanent partial disability benefits.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits in Georgia Workers’ Comp (PTD)
Some severe injuries like paralysis, loss of limbs, or blindness in both eyes are deemed to be permanent total disabilities. Such injuries completely limit one’s ability to resume work now and secure any kind of gainful employment in the future. In such instances, a worker may receive permanent total disability benefits.
How Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Rex Calculated?
Workers’ comp laws will differ from state to state, and the amount to be awarded will also be different in every state. What’s more, the amount and duration of benefits change periodically, and it is important to consult with your lawyer or check the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation website for current information.
If you’re set to receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits, these will be calculated at two-thirds of your average weekly pre-injury wage, up to the state’s maximum. If you earned $600 before your injury your TTD benefits will amount to $400.
Workers who are able to return to work before reaching MMI are usually eligible for temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits. These benefits are calculated at two-thirds of the difference between the average weekly pre-injury wages before and after the injury. For instance, if your previous income was $1,600 per week but are now earning $700, your TPD benefits will be two-thirds of the difference ($900), which amount to $600.
The calculation of permanent disability will depend on individual cases. Once you have reached MMI, your doctor will evaluate you to establish whether you have a permanent disability, and, if so, the extent. Such disability is expressed as a percentage, which is used in the calculation of permanent disability benefits.
Permanent partial disability benefits are paid at the rate as temporary total disability benefits – but only for a limited time. Normally the duration of these benefits will be determined by the percentage of disability. For a permanent total disability, a worker could receive a lump sum or may continue to receive benefits at the temporary total disability rate for life.
Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Georgia Taxed?
Under IRS codes and Georgia law, workers’ comp benefits are not considered income and are therefore not subject to tax.
Contact Our Rex Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Depending on the duration and severity of your injury, you may receive temporary or permanent disability benefits. If you’ve suffered a work-related injury and are unsure of the benefits you’re eligible for, it is important that you speak to an attorney.
Our Rex workers’ compensation lawyers at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition specialize in Georgia law and can help you determine the benefits you are entitled to. Call us today at 770-796-0919 or fill out our online form to schedule a free legal consultation.