Once you’re approved for workers compensation in Georgia, you should receive two types of benefits. The first benefit will be medical coverage for your work-related injuries. This includes both immediate care as well as any long-term treatment you need. You may also be entitled to rehabilitation once your injuries have started to heal.
The second type of benefit you’ll be entitled to are weekly replacement wages. You will not receive a paycheck while you’re out on workers’ compensation. Instead, you’ll receive weekly benefits equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. For example, if you normally make $500 per week, you will receive $333 per week while on workers comp.
If you think your benefits are less than they’re supposed to be, you should talk to an Atlanta workers comp attorney right away. It will take a few weeks to get your benefits resolved. The longer you wait to talk to a Georgia workers comp lawyer, the longer it will take to get your money.
You Will Received Weekly Benefits Equal to Two-Thirds of Your Average Weekly Wages
In Georgia, your weekly benefits will be equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. What your employer will do is take your last 52 weeks of work and add up your income for that period. They will then divide this amount by 52 weeks. Whatever this amount is, they will then multiply it by 2/3. The final amount is what you will receive each week.
The problem you may run into is that your employer does not include all your income during the 52 weeks. For example, if you work in sales, you probably receive monthly commissions or bonuses. This money is supposed to be included for workers compensation purposes.
The same is true if you receive a monthly stipend. For example, if you receive money each month to cover your car payment, this should be included when your employer determines your average weekly wages.
The point of workers’ compensation is to make sure you receive a percentage of the income you normally earn at your job. Just because the money comes to you in the form of a car allowance, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be included as part of your income. If you see that your employer has excluded this money, you should call one of our Atlanta workers comp attorneys immediately.
Your Average Weekly Wages Will be Calculated by Your Employer
When you report your workplace accident and submit your workers compensation claim, your employer passes the information on to their insurance carrier. Part of the information they forward to the insurance carrier is your income.
The insurance company has no way of knowing your income. They rely on your employer to provide them with this information. If your employer sends them incorrect information, then your benefits will be for the wrong amount.
There is always the chance that your employer or their payroll person made an innocent mistake. If that’s the case, they should have no problem fixing it when your Georgia workers compensation lawyer notifies them of the error.
If, however, your employer is disputing how much you actually earned, your attorney may need to take further action. The goal is to make sure you get the money you’re entitled to. Your employer has no right to deprive you of income.
If you end up being out of work for months or even a year, this difference can add up. For example, if you’re supposed to receive $333 per week and you only receive $300, that is a difference of $33 per week. This comes out to be about $130 per month. Over the course of a year, this can end up being a significant amount of money.
Your Georgia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Demand that Your Benefits be Recalculated
If your Georgia workers compensation lawyer can prove that your benefits were calculated incorrectly, they can demand that they be recalculated. This can be done by filing an appeal with the workers’ compensation commission. Ideally, your employer will want to resolve the matter quickly and quietly.
If other employees learn that your benefits were not calculated properly, they may start to wonder about their own benefits. At the same time, if your employer believes that they performed the calculation properly, they may refuse to redo it.
This is when you and your Atlanta workers comp attorney will have to decide if you want to press the issue. It really comes down to the amount of money you’re losing every week.
Call Our Office So You Can Meet with One of Our Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you have a feeling you aren’t receiving the weekly benefits that you deserve, you shouldn’t just sit back and say nothing. Your employer is required to calculate your weekly benefits accurately. If they fail to do this, your Atlanta workers comp attorney can demand that they recalculate your benefits.
As explained here, people on workers compensation in Georgia are supposed to receive benefits equal to two-thirds of their average weekly wages. Your average weekly wages are supposed to include all types of income you receive from your employer.
If they have omitted certain parts of your income, then they need to fit it. Every week that you wait to call a Georgia workers comp lawyer is another week you are losing money. It is hard enough to survive on 2/3 of your normal wages. The last thing you want is to have that amount reduced even further.
We suggest that you contact our office so you can schedule your free, initial consultation. We offer all new clients the chance to meet with one of our Atlanta workers comp attorneys for free. This gives you a chance to find out if your case is worth pursuing. It also gives our attorneys a chance to see if they want to take you on as a new client.