Businesses spend approximately $170 billion on injuries every year. That amount includes the benefits paid through Georgia workers’ compensation when Atlanta workers are injured performing their jobs. Despite being entitled to receive benefits, many workers do not understand the specifics of workers’ compensation or how they go about collecting the benefits they are entitled to. When a worker is involved in an on-the-job accident, they may have a lot of questions regarding workers’ compensation, from the basics of what benefits they can receive to whether they need to hire a workers’ compensation attorney.
What Benefits Can I Receive?In Georgia, injured workers are entitled to three different types of benefits:
- Wage Benefits are paid out to employees to make up for time away from work when they would be earning a normal wage. These benefits are equal to two-thirds of the injured worker’s normal weekly wage, with a maximum amount at $550 per week. Injured workers cannot collect wage benefits until an authorized treating physician has put them on a no work status. An injured worker can also start wage benefits if their employer refuses to provide limited work after the doctor recommends them being on limited/light work duty.
- Medical Benefits cover the expenses necessary for treatment to cure or alleviate any injuries sustained. This includes any hospital bills, doctor bills, physical therapy, and necessary travel expenses. The worker does not need to pay a deductible and the benefits are paid by the employer and their insurance company. In addition, the worker may also qualify for medical and vocational rehabilitation. Unless the injury is categorized as catastrophic, according to O.C.G.A. 34-9-200.1, medical benefits can be received for a maximum of 400 weeks. For catastrophic injuries, the worker may be able to receive lifetime benefits, depending on the nature of their injury.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits can be paid out if a worker, after all possible treatment, is unable to heal fully from the injury and left with a permanent disability. A PPD rating should be issued by the doctor after the injured worker has improved as much as is possible.