For some reason, a lot of people assume that being out on workers compensation is like being on a long vacation. In fact, we’ve had clients tell us they’re excited to be out of work for a while, especially if they are being paid for it. When our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys hear this, they become concerned.
A comment like this makes one wonder if the person’s injuries were really work-related. The interesting thing about it is that being on workers comp is nothing like being on vacation. Not only will you spend much of your time at doctor’s appointments and physical therapy, but you won’t be receiving your full pay.
We think it’s important to educate people on how workers compensation really works. Here, we will talk about the benefits you can expect to receive if your workers’ comp claim is approved. We will also explain the limitations of these benefits.
Our workers comp lawyers in Atlanta have helped hundreds, if not thousands of people get the benefits they deserve. If you have been injured at work and don’t know what to do next, call our office. We can schedule your free, initial consultation with one of our Atlanta workers compensation attorneys over the phone or you can do so through our website.
You Won’t Receive Anything if Your Claim Isn’t Approved
Before you can expect to receive any workers compensation benefits, your Atlanta workers compensation attorney must make sure your claim is approved. To do this, you’ll have to meet certain requirements. These criteria are dictated by Georgia’s workers compensation laws.
Some of the criteria you must meet in order to qualify for workers compensation benefits include the following:
- You must demonstrate that your accident happened at work.
- Your workers’ comp lawyer in Atlanta will also have to show that your injuries weren’t merely an aggravation of a pre-existing injury.
- You cannot be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your workplace accident.
- You must agree to be treated by a state-approved workers comp doctor.
- You must comply with your treatment plan.
For most employees, showing your accident happened at work means you must have been on company property and on company time in order to be covered. Employees who don’t punch a clock will have to show that they were acting within the scope of their employment at the time of their injury. The same rule applies to remote workers and people who spend a lot of time on the road.
If Approved, You’ll Receive Two Main Types of Benefits
If your workers’ compensation claim is approved, you can expect to receive two types of benefits. First, any medical treatment you need as a result of your workplace accident will be covered. Your employer is required to carry workers compensation insurance. This insurance is designed to cover your medical care. In addition to medical coverage, you will also receive weekly replacement wages.
The way your weekly benefits are calculated is quite simple. You will receive 2/3 of your average weekly wages. Your employer will add up whatever income you received over the past 52 weeks. They will then divide that total by 52. If you haven’t been at your current employer for a year, then the company will simply determine the average weekly wage for whatever time you were there.
There Are Limits to How Much You Can Receive
As briefly explained above, you can expect to receive 2/3 of your average weekly wages while out on workers comp. Your benefits will not kick in until you have missed twenty-one days from work. As long as you’re out of work for more than 21 days, you will get retroactive pay for this time.
Your benefits will continue until your claim is closed. This typically happens when your workers comp doctor determines that you have met something called “maximum medical improvement.” This just means that your doctor believes that further medical treatment will not improve your condition.
Once your benefits start, you can expect to receive them weekly. These payments and your claim will be overseen by the Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation. The amount of your weekly benefits depends on your income. Imagine that you normally make $1,000 per week. You will receive 2/3 of this every week. This comes out to be $666 per week.
However, there is a limit to how much you can receive. In Georgia, the maximum weekly benefit you can receive under workers comp is $500 per week. Unfortunately, Georgia has one of the lowest workers compensation payment scales in the country.
Given that the most you can receive in any given week is $500, anybody who normally makes $1,500 per week will lose money under workers comp. For example, if you normally make $2,000 per week, you would think your benefits would be $1,332 per week. However, since the cap is $500, that is all you will receive.
Our Workers Comp Lawyers in Atlanta Can Ensure You’re Receiving the Benefits You Deserve
Figuring out what to do after a workplace accident can be difficult. The workers’ compensation system can be confusing. In fact, attorneys who don’t practice this type of law don’t even understand it. The good news is that our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys not only know the law, but they also know how to deal with insurance companies.
We suggest that you call our office today and schedule your free, initial consultation. Take advantage of the opportunity to sit down with a seasoned workers comp lawyer in Atlanta and have them review your case. They can answer any questions you may have and can explain how the process works. They’ll also be there for you throughout the entire workers’ compensation process.
You can bet your employer and their insurance carrier have a team of lawyers working for them. You don’t want to try to deal with them on your own.