Understanding Your Workers' Compensation Benefits

After a work-related accident, most injured workers have two questions:

  • "How am I going to pay my medical bills?"
  • "How am I going to support myself if I am unable to work?"

Your benefits from Georgia workers' compensation are designed to pay your medical bills and help you support yourself while you are unable to work. Under Georgia law, every employer with more than three employees is required to carry workers' compensation insurance. With very few exceptions, any injury that occurred in connection with the performance of your job is covered by workers' compensation.

However, the process for receiving all of the benefits you deserve from workers' compensation can be complex. If you have suffered a serious injury, it is important that you have an experienced workers' compensation attorney representing you from the start.

Call for a free initial consultation about your workers' compensation benefits. Contact our office at 404-233-6200 today to speak with one of our lawyers.

Seeking the Maximum Workers' Comp Benefits Available

At the law firm of Hilley & Frieder, our lawyers provide comprehensive workers' comp services to clients in the Atlanta area and throughout Georgia. We have a complete understanding of the law in these matters, and we can help you secure the full compensation benefits you are entitled to under the law.

Workers' Compensation Medical Benefits

Injured workers are entitled to all medical care that will help them recover from their injuries. Medical care is paid by the insurance company and there are no deductibles, no copays and no dollar limit for the care provided. Although there is no limit to the dollar amount of care, there is a time limit for medical care. Medical care ends 400 weeks from the date of injury for noncatastrophic injuries occurring after July 1, 2013.

Medical benefits include all types of treatment for your injuries. In some cases, these treatments must be administered by employer-provided doctors. In every case, we seek complete benefits packages that accommodate clients' current and future needs.

Examples of available medical benefits for a work-related injury include:

  • Hospitalization
  • Surgery
  • Medications
  • Physical therapy and other rehabilitation services
  • Medical equipment, including crutches, wheelchairs and prosthetics

Learn more about how your workers' compensation medical benefits work.

Workers' Compensation Wage Benefits

In addition to medical care, an injured worker is entitled to weekly disability income benefits to help compensate for lost earnings. There are three types of income benefits: temporary total disability, temporary partial disability and permanent partial disability.

Under Georgia law, you are entitled to receive income benefits if your injury keeps you away from work for more than seven days. Wage benefits can fall into one of the above three categories, depending on the severity of the injury, the extent of your recovery and your ability to perform regular job tasks.

Wage benefits include:

  • Temporary total disability (TTD): If you are unable to work, you may receive a weekly check equivalent to two-thirds of your average weekly wage. You may receive this benefit for up to 400 weeks. Currently, there is a maximum weekly benefit level of $575.
  • Temporary partial disability (TPD): If you are able to return to work in a limited capacity or you are forced to take a lower-paying job because of your injury, you are entitled to receive income benefits equal to two-thirds of the difference between your average weekly wage prior to the injury and the weekly wage you are able to earn after. Currently, there is a cap of $383 per week on TPD benefits.
  • Permanent partial disability (PPD): If your doctor has determined that you have reached "maximum medical improvement" and you are still partially impaired, you will receive an impairment rating according to American Medical Association guidelines. If you are not receiving TTD or TPD benefits, you are entitled to receive PPD benefits in accordance with your impairment rating.

Learn more about how wage loss benefits are determined.

How Long Can I Receive Workers' Compensation Benefits?

The maximum period that you can be paid weekly benefits depends upon what type of benefits you are collecting. How long you can collect is measured from your date of injury. The maximum period for temporary total disability (TTD) benefits is 400 weeks for a claim not designated catastrophic. For catastrophic claims, the maximum is life. The maximum period for temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits is 350 weeks.

An experienced workers' compensation attorney can make sure that you receive the correct amount of benefits and for the correct length of time. Our lawyers can also advise you if it would be in your interest to trade your continuing right to medical care and weekly benefits for a lump sum settlement.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

To schedule a free initial consultation with our Atlanta workers' compensation law firm, please contact us today.

Ronald Hilley was the contributing attorney to this content.