Garnishment enables the employer to keep some of your pay, so they can send it directly to a creditor. When you get injured at work (or develop an occupational illness) you should file for a compensation claim. When you file for a workers’ compensation claim, your medical bills will be paid to your health providers. Vocational rehabilitation costs are directly paid to teaching and related providers and can’t be garnished since they are already paid.
But what happens with the weekly wage replacement part of your benefits. The compensation that should help you if you had a temporary, partial or complete disability cannot be garnished, at least generally speaking.
If you’re facing a workplace injury and want to be sure that things are working out for you, or are facing a certain problem, it’s best to seek legal help from an Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney.
Federal Wage Garnishment Protection in Workers’ Comp Case
The Consumer Credit Protection Act guards different types of income from garnishment from creditors. One of these types is workers’ compensation. Also, Social Security Disability Insurance income and unemployment benefits are protected from garnishment by creditors.
Why workers’ compensation benefits are protected from garnishments is a good question. The simple answer is because these benefits are meant to replace lost wages. This money is paid because of an injury sustained at work (no matter if it was the workers’ fault or not).
The workers’ compensation law is designed to limit lawsuits which is why employees are giving up their rights of full wage loss (workers usually get 66-10% of their weekly wages) and their right to payment for pain and suffering. If an injured worker had those extra compensation amounts, they would have more funds to pay creditors.
How Much of Your Compensation Can be Garnished?
Seventy-five percent of a debtor’s disposable wages are protected from garnishment by the Consumer Credit Protection Act. Disposable wages are usually the amount left after FICA taxes are removed. The federal law determines that up to 25% of your disposable income or anything you earn that passes 30% of the federal minimum wage could be garnished.
Workers’ Comp Settlement in Georgia
The laws of Georgia support settlement with workers’ compensation and most individuals have these benefits as an option. If you are getting settlement benefits and unpaid child support, there is a chance that some of your money will go towards the back payments. The settlement is handled like any other form of income. Workers’ compensation settlement is an exemption from garnishment in this state.
Get an Attorney
If you are an injured worker you will deal with many challenges and stressful moments. The recovery itself can be a challenge, then the high medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses that you’re facing because of the accident. Collecting your workers’ compensation shouldn’t be a problem, since most employees are entitled to these benefits. However, if you’re an independent contractor, or your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance, things might become complicated.
You shouldn’t worry about these benefits, whether you’ll get them, or if creditors will take part in the settlement (for whatever reason they need it).
If you fear that this might happen, or have any dilemmas, or questions about garnishment, or in general about workers’ compensation benefits, it’s best to hire legal help. A workers’ compensation should be able to answer all your questions. Not everyone knows how to deal with legal matters especially during their most vulnerable period of recovery.
Our team at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition has extensive experience with various cases of workers’ compensation settlements. We know how challenging it is for injured workers to deal with money during this period, especially if they have serious injuries that are threatening to change their lives forever.
No matter your diagnosis, or whether you have a temporary or permanent disability, it’s important that you get the settlement so you can function properly. Medical bills are never low, and let’s not forget the stress the injury brings, aligned with the worries and stress from missing work and losing wages, fearing that you might not have the full strength to work the same work again.
Our team has a history of working on all types of workers’ injuries including traumatic brain injuries, amputations, occupational diseases, burn injuries, workplace fatalities, and so on. You and your family deserve to get the settlement that will allow you to stand back on your feet again. Call our office and schedule your first free case evaluation.