If you get hurt in a workplace accident in Atlanta, you should be eligible for workers’ compensation. Most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Unless you work for a company with less than 3 employees, there’s a good chance they have the insurance necessary to cover your medical care. They’ll also be responsible for paying you weekly replacement wages until you are able to return to work.
The question is – how long can you receive these benefits? Our employment lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia are very familiar with the workers’ comp laws in your state. They can help figure out how much longer you’ll receive benefits. They can also explain what happens when your benefits are exhausted.
Here, we’ll discuss how workers comp benefits work in Georgia. We’ll also explain how long you can receive these benefits. If you still have questions after reading this article, just give our office a call. We can schedule your free, initial consultation right over the phone.
No One in Georgia Can Collect Benefits for More than 400 Weeks
If you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia, you’re entitled to medical care and weekly benefits. Your weekly checks typically start being paid anywhere from 2-3 weeks after your injury. Before you can even qualify for a claim, you must miss at least 7 days from work.
Once the 7 days have passed, you can expect your benefits to start. Most victims start to receive their checks within 21 days. If this doesn’t happen, you should probably call and talk to an experienced employment lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia.
Once your benefits start, you can expect to receive them for up to 400 weeks. This comes out to be just under 8 years. It’s hard to imagine being hurt for that long. If a person is out of work that long, it’s safe to assume that they suffered a life-altering injury. For example, if you’re injured in a gas and oil explosion, you may end up partially or totally paralyzed.
If this is the case, it doesn’t make sense to stay on workers comp for 8 years. It would make sense to apply for disability at that point. Thankfully, you don’t have to figure this out on your own. Your injury lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia can help you make this decision.
Very Few Claimants Exhaust Their Workers’ Compensation Benefits
As mentioned above, it’s hard to imagine somebody exhausting their 400 weeks’ worth of benefits. Most workers comp claimants are back to work in a matter of weeks or months. As soon as your workers’ comp doctor determines you’ve reached maximum medical improvement, you’ll be expected to return to work. Even if you get a second opinion, you’ll still head back to work soon. Once this happens, your benefits will terminate.
It is very rare for someone to continue to collect benefits for 400 weeks. Four hundred weeks is a long time. Couples get married and divorced in that amount of time. You may own two or three cars in that timeframe. Now that this is put into perspective for you, it should make sense why it’s so uncommon for a worker to be out of work for 400 weeks due to a work-related injury.
Your Employment Lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia Can Explain Your Long-Term Options
If you’ve already been workers comp for a year or longer, you’re probably wondering how much longer you can expect to receive benefits. Your employment lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia can explain what your various options are. You may be able to apply for disability through the state. If your doctor can confirm that you aren’t able to return to work, you may qualify for disability.
However, keep in mind – more than 70% of all disability claims are denied the first time around. Most people have to appeal their claim several times before it’s approved. If you don’t want to risk this happening to you, then your attorney can discuss other options with you.
If disability isn’t an option, your injury lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia will try to negotiate a settlement with your employer’s insurance company. If you can show that you’ll be out of work for quite some time, it may be in everyone’s best interests that you settle your case and move on with your life. At least when you do this, you can walk away with a lump sum. Or you may choose to continue to receive weekly benefits until your settlement is paid. It depends on the facts of your case and the extent of your injuries.
What Happens When the 400 Weeks Are Up?
When the 400 weeks expire, your benefits will terminate. You can’t ask the workers’ compensation commission to extend them. Four hundred weeks is an awfully long time. Most people would be frustrated sitting home all this time without working. Of course, there are others who take advantage of this time off from work.
If you have a feeling your benefits are about to expire, call one of our injury lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia. They can find out exactly how much longer your benefits will last. They can also negotiate with the insurance company to see if you can settle your case.
Call and Schedule Your Free Consultation With One of Our Injury Lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia
If you’ve been out on workers’ compensation for a while and are worried about your benefits running out, you’re not alone. Our injury lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia meet with clients in your situation all the time. It can be scary to realize that your benefits are coming to an end.
If you don’t think you’re ready to go back to work, it can be even scarier. The good news is that you do have options. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may qualify for disability. Or, if you’ve sustained partial or total permanent disabilities as a result of your workplace accident, you may be able to settle your case.
The best way to know what your options are is to call our office. We can pick a date and time that you can come into the office and sit down with one of our seasoned employment lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia. The initial consultation is free, so you don’t have anything to lose.