The Monk Law Firm represents injured workers in Atlanta, Marietta, Athens, Macon, Lawrenceville, Jonesboro, Rome, Gainesville, Valdosta, Albany, Moultrie, Dalton, Chickamauga, Thomaston, and all over Georgia in workers’ compensation claims.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
- Workers’ compensation is an accident insurance program paid by your employer that may provide you with medical, rehabilitation and income benefits if you are injured on the job. These benefits are provided to cover medical and living expenses and to help you return to work. It also provides workers’ compensation benefits to your dependents if you die because of a job-related injury. You are covered from your first day on the job.
- The law requires any business with three or more workers, including regular part-time workers, to have workers’ compensation insurance unless allowed by the State to be self-insured.
- The injured worker is entitled to medical treatment until the injury has been resolved up to 400 weeks, unless your injury is declared catastrophic. When an injury causes temporary or permanent disabilities, the worker may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in the form of weekly checks, medical expenses, medications, therapy and reimbursement for mileage.
WHEN SHOULD I REPORT AN ACCIDENT THAT HAPPENED ON THE JOB?
Workers’ Compensation Insurance is highly regulated, and claims must meet the specific requirements for the insurance company to issue payment. You should report any accident occurring on the job to your employer (boss, foreman, or supervisor) immediately. If you wait longer than 30 days, you may lose your right to benefits.
WHAT DO I DO ABOUT A DOCTOR?
Your employer is required to post information identifying medical care providers for injured worker’s use; however, many employers fail to comply with this requirement, allowing you to choose your own doctor. Your employer may satisfy this requirement in one of the following ways:
- Post a Traditional Panel of Physicians consisting of a minimum of six doctors. You may choose any one of the six. The panel must include one orthopedic physician and not more than two industrial clinics. You may make one change to another doctor on the list without the permission of your employer.
- Post the name of a Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization (WC/MCO) certified by the Board with whom your employer has contracted to provide medical services. A managed care representative will assist you in scheduling an appointment with the eligible medical provider of your choice. You may make one change to another eligible physician at any time, without the permission of your employer.
WHO PAYS FOR THE DOCTOR?
Your company’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier will pay for your authorized medical treatment, if the treatment was for an on-the-job injury. All authorized doctor bills, hospital bills, physical therapy, prescriptions, and necessary travel expenses are paid if the injury or illness was caused by an accident on the job. Medical treatment shall be limited to a maximum period of 400 weeks from the accident date, unless your injury is catastrophic in nature, in which case you may be entitled to a lifetime of workers’ compensation medical benefits.
WHEN DO I GET MY BENEFITS?
You are entitled to weekly workers’ compensation income benefits if you are unable to work for more than 7 days. Your first check should be mailed to you within 21 days after the first day you missed work. If you miss more than 21 consecutive days, you will be paid for the first week. You will receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage, but not more than $575.00 per week, for an accident occurring on or after July 1, 2016.
WHAT IF I AM ABLE TO RETURN TO WORK BUT CAN ONLY GET A LOWER PAYING JOB AS A RESULT OF MY INJURY?
You will receive a reduced workers’ compensation benefit based upon your earnings for a maximum of 350 weeks from the date of injury. This benefit will not exceed $383.00 per week, for an accident occurring on or after July 1, 2016.
HOW LONG WILL I RECEIVE WEEKLY WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BENEFITS?
If your accident occurred on or after July 1, 1992, you are entitled to benefits for up to 400 weeks of workers’ compensation benefits. If your injury is catastrophic in nature you may be entitled to lifetime workers’ compensation benefits. In certain circumstances, your workers’ compensation benefits may be reduced after you have been released to return to work with limitations or restrictions, or even suspended if you are released to return to work with no limitations or restrictions.
IF I DIE AS THE RESULT OF AN ON-THE-JOB ACCIDENT, WHAT BENEFITS WILL MY DEPENDENTS RECEIVE?
Your dependents will receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage or a maximum of $575.00 per week for death from an on-the-job accident occurring on or after July 1, 2016. Your dependents are your surviving spouse, children or dependent stepchildren or anyone who depends on you in large part for financial support. A widowed spouse with no children is limited to a total amount of $230,000.00, unless he or she remarries or cohabitates in a meretricious relationship, but the amount can be significantly higher with other dependents.
CAN I BE PAID SOCIAL SECURITY AND WORKERS’ COMPENSATION AT THE SAME TIME?
Yes, but social security benefits may be reduced.
You are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits under the law. This is something you have earned through your work and is not welfare. You will only pay us for the services of your workers’ comp lawyer when we recover benefits on your behalf or settle your case. The Monk Law Firm can help you collect the benefits you deserve. Call our personal injury law firm for a free consultation. We are here to help.