Workers in any industry can get hurt on the job. Whether you have a career in medicine, hospitality or manufacturing, it only takes a few moments to suffer a potentially life-altering work injury. Others who never have any accidents at work could develop a work-acquired medical condition, like carpal tunnel syndrome or cancer caused by workplace chemical exposure.
The risk that comes with doing work is why companies in Georgia have to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees. When you get hurt, you can make a claim against your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy.
Typically, you can expect full medical coverage for the care you require. Workers who have to take a leave of absence to recover, change their line of work or stop working altogether can also potentially qualify for disability benefits. How do workers’ compensation disability benefits work?
When a doctor says you can’t work, you can ask for disability benefits
When the doctor evaluating your injury decides that you need a leave of absence for recovery or treatment, they should provide you with documentation that you can then give to your employer or their insurance company.
You can receive up to two-thirds of your average weekly wage in workers’ compensation disability benefits until you are ready to return to work. In some cases, workers may receive partial disability benefits if they can perform the tasks associated with lower-paying work than their usual profession.
In addition to only offering a portion of your missed wages, workers’ compensation in Georgia also has a maximum weekly benefit. The most you can possibly receive for disability pay is $675 a week. In other words, if your usual weekly income is higher than $1013, you will receive less than two-thirds of the income you would usually receive.
What happens if you never fully recover?
If an injury has a lasting impact, like a brain injury, amputation or repetitive stress injury, a worker may have lifelong income losses because of it. Workers’ compensation sometimes approves permanent, total disability benefit or someone completely unable to work. Someone who has to permanently change professions might also qualify for partial disability benefits based on the level of impairment they experience.
Understanding the basics of workers’ compensation benefits makes it easier to get the support that you deserve.