Workers’ compensation in Georgia includes income benefits, medical benefits and, in the case of workplace fatalities, death benefits. There is no recovery for pain and suffering.
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In Georgia, benefits are based on two types of injury designations, catastrophic and non-catastrophic. Generally, a catastrophic injury is an injury that leaves the injured worker unable to work in any capacity at any job. A non-catastrophic injury means that the injured worker can return to work at a job, although it may not be the same job that the worker had prior to being injured.
Depending on the type of work injury, you will be entitled to one of four categories of workers’ compensation income benefits:
Temporary Total Disability Benefits or (TTD) – This benefit is paid weekly to injured workers who are totally incapacitated from work. To be totally incapacitated means that you cannot perform your job duties because of your injury. These benefits amount to two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage, up to a maximum of $500 per week. If you earned a different amount of wages each week prior to your injury, your average weekly wage will be calculated to determine the amount of benefits that you will receive. The average will be based on a period of thirteen weeks that you worked before you were injured. Workers with non-catastrophic injuries are limited to 400 weeks of benefits. Workers with catastrophic injuries receive workers’ compensation benefits for an unlimited period of time.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD) – This benefit is paid weekly to an employee who returns to work in a job paying less as a result of an on-the-job accident. Benefits are two-thirds of the difference between the employee’s average weekly wage before the injury and after the injury, up to a certain limit. These benefits are paid for up to 350 weeks.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) – This workers’ compensation benefit is paid to an injured worker whose on-the-job injury results in a permanent disability. Your doctor will use AMA Guidelines to determine your percentage of disability. Your doctor may perform tests to determine whether you are disabled from your injury. Payment is based on the following formulas: your percent of disability times the Temporary Total Disability weekly rate.
Death Benefits – This benefit is available to a dependent spouse and minor children of an employee who dies due to an on-the-job injury. This workers’ compensation benefit is payable at the rate of two-thirds of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage at the time of the accident, up to a maximum of $500 per week. Funeral expenses are currently paid up to $7,500. In total, a widowed spouse with no children will be paid no more than a $150,000 total in payments. A dependent child of a deceased worker is eligible to receive weekly payments through workers’ compensation until he or she reaches age 18 or 21 if the child attends college.
Medical Benefits – Medical treatment is covered by workers’ compensation but all treatment – except immediate emergency care – must be provided by a physician that is included on the employers’ panel of approved workers’ compensation physicians. This means that the injured worker must have their medical care administered by a doctor who is approved by the insurer for the employer. Any medical attention received from a non-approved physician will be the financial responsibility of the injured worker.
To learn more about how we can help you obtain all the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to receive, please contact the law office of J. Franklin Burns, P.C. The initial consultation is free and you will pay no attorney fees unless we win benefits for you. Please do not hesitate to call. We understand that you have many questions that need answers.
With an office conveniently located in Atlanta, Georgia, our workers’ compensation lawyers represent clients statewide. If you are unable to visit us in our office, we are happy to travel to meet you in your home or a place that is convenient to you.