Recovering from an injury and returning to work can be a very stressful experience. It’s even worse when the insurance providers are hesitant to provide the workers’ compensation benefits in Roswell, GA that you deserve. Our expert lawyers are here to make the process easier and ensure that you can focus entirely on healing.
Workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia are broken into several categories with their own deadlines and restrictions. It’s a good idea to have an understanding of these categories so that you know what to expect as you begin the claims process. We’ve provided some helpful guidelines below covering the major types of workers’ compensation benefits and how they are calculated.
We advise working with an experienced Roswell workers’ comp attorney as you begin your claims process. An attorney can increase the speed of the process, reduce the risk of denial, and help mediate any disputes with the insurance company. Call our office at 770-796-0919 for a complete case review free of charge.
Georgia Workers’ Compensation Income Limits
Weekly benefits are provided to employees who cannot return to work or are required to work in a diminished capacity. Each category of benefits has its own weekly maximum limit. That limit is chosen according to the date of your injury. If your injury occurred after July 1, 2019, then the weekly maximum for temporary total disability and permanent partial disability will be $675. The maximum for total partial disability payments will be $450.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Roswell, Georgia
Workers’ compensation disability benefits are separated into three key categories with a fourth potential category existing for very rare cases. Which of these categories will apply to you will depend on your current stage of medical treatment and the information provided by your physician.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits in GA Workers’ Comp (TTD)
Any employee who is unable to return to work because of their injury will be placed on TTD benefits. Likewise, if your doctor recommends only “light duty work” but your employer is unable to provide such work, then you will be eligible for TTD benefits. There is a mandatory waiting period of seven days after the injury before you can begin receiving weekly benefits. If you continue to receive TTD benefits for a period of more than 21 days, then you will receive compensation for the initial waiting period as well.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits in GA Workers’ Comp (TPD)
In some cases, you may still be able to work after being injured but with some restrictions. These restrictions are imposed by a doctor may include fewer hours or reduced lifting capacity. If this causes you to earn less than you were previously earning, then you will be eligible to receive TPD benefits. TPD benefits are calculated similarly to TTD benefits but have a shorter maximum duration.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits in GA Workers’ Comp (PPD)
The vast majority of injury claims eventually result in PPD benefits. PPD claims are estimated to account for more than fifty percent of all injury claims. At some point in treatment, your doctor may claim that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). This indicates that further treatment would no longer benefit your condition. You are then assigned a partial disability rating and can begin receiving PPD benefits. You cannot receive PPD benefits while also receiving TPD or TTD benefits.
Total Disability Benefits in GA Workers’ Comp
Unlike many other states, Georgia does not have a category specifically for permanent total disability. However, if you are permanently unable to work, then you may be eligible for the fourth category of benefits. This fourth category is simply referred to as “Total Disability”. There are very specific eligibility requirements that must be met for total disability benefits.
In most cases, total disability is only available for qualifying catastrophic injuries. A few examples of qualifying injuries or disabilities include:
- Permanent loss of vision in both eyes
- The loss of both arms or legs
- The combined loss of two arms, legs, hands, or feet
How Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Roswell Calculated?
Each of these benefits categories is calculated in a similar fashion with some variations in length. First, your average weekly wage prior to the injury is calculated. This value is derived from your weekly pre-tax income for the last 13 weeks if you maintained the same employment.
If you worked at two jobs that are concurrent and similar, then your weekly wage for both jobs is combined when determining this value. If you did not work for the entirety of the previous 13 weeks, then the income of a similar employee with the same job is used instead.
Your weekly benefits for all four categories will be equal to 2/3rds of the weekly average calculated above. Each benefit type has a maximum income limit that is set by the state and adjusted every few years. The maximum for your benefits is determined according to the date you were injured, not the date you are receiving the benefits. TTD benefits and PPD benefits almost always share the same weekly value. TPD benefits have the lowest weekly maximum of all three groups.
The maximum duration you can receive these benefits varies according to the category.
- TTD Benefits – 400 weeks maximum
- TPD Benefits – 350 weeks
- Total Disability – No maximum
PPD benefits are different in that the maximum duration varies according to the injured body part. Different body parts have a different maximum duration. The maximum duration of your PPD benefits will be a percentage of that body part’s maximum that correlates to the percentage of impairment provided by the doctor. For example, a 50 percent impairment of the thumb will allow for a maximum of 30 weeks of PPD benefits.
Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Georgia Taxed?
No. Georgia abides by existing federal income tax laws, which state that benefits paid in accordance with worker’s comp laws are not taxable. This also applies to dependents who receive death benefits because of an accident at work.
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Georgia law determines disability benefit amounts similarly for all of the benefit categories. You can expect to make 2/3rds of your pre-injury weekly income but no more than the state maximum. How long you receive these benefits will vary according to the disability. You may be able to receive a lump-sum settlement if you are receiving PPD benefits.