Being involved in an on-the-job accident, incurring a repetitive stress disorder or contracting an illness that’s directly related to the work you do can be incredibly overwhelming and disorienting. You may have never known your company’s Worker’s Compensation policy in the past or even wondered about it before. Don’t worry. You’re not alone. While an estimated 9 in 10 employees in the U.S. have Worker’s Compensation coverage, very few actually know what those benefits actually are. After all, no one really wants to think in terms of becoming injured or ill on the job… until it occurs.
Whether you were recently impacted by an on-the-job injury or illness or you’re just curious in the event it might happen in the future, here is a general overview of what you can expect from your employer’s Worker’s Compensation benefits:
- In keeping with Georgia law, any company with three or more employees must provide Worker’s Compensation.
- Like most benefits, Worker’s Compensation is only applicable to employees of a company – not contractors. However, it doesn’t matter if you’re not a full-time employee. You can still receive benefits if you are a part-time or seasonal employee.
- Most – if not all – of your medical bills will be covered by your employer’s insurance provider AS LONG AS you use a medical provider from their approved list. This may include doctor and hospital bills, physical therapy/rehabilitation, prescriptions, and any necessary travel expenses.
- In the event that your injury or illness is such that you are unable to work for more than seven days, you may also be entitled to weekly wage benefits. These weekly wage benefits will be calculated as two-thirds of your average weekly wage, but no more than $675.00 per week. Depending on the severity of your workplace injury and amount of work missed, you could receive these benefits for up to 400 weeks.
- If you are able to return to work but are no longer able to work in your former capacity due to the injury, you may receive a reduced benefit to compensate your earnings for up to 350 weeks after the date of your injury. This benefit will not exceed $450.00 per week.
- If – as a result of a catastrophic injury – you are unable to return to work in the field in which you were previously employed, you may receive aid in the form of vocational training or job assistance.
- If it is deemed that you have suffered a permanent disability that prevents you from ever returning to work – for instance, you lose both of your arms, legs, hands or feet, or any combination of two of these body parts – you may qualify to receive total disability benefits on a permanent basis.
- In the event that your accident results in death, your dependents will receive death benefits of two-thirds of your average weekly wage or a maximum of $675.00 per week, but no more than $270,000. If your widowed spouse remarries, he or she forfeits their rights to those benefits.
For more specific information about your employer’s specific Workers Compensation plan, contact your HR representative. They are required by law to provide that information to you. Unlike a Personal Injury lawsuit, it’s important to bear in mind that Worker’s Compensation does NOT cover pain and suffering. Workers’ Compensation is considered an “exclusive remedy” under Georgia law. This means you cannot sue your employer in state court for your injuries; you must seek your remedy through the Workers’ Compensation system.
However, because every case is unique, it’s wise to discuss the specifics of your case and options available to you with a skilled attorney who specializes in Worker’s Compensation – like those found at Edmonson Law Firm. To discuss your case in greater depth with an Edmonson Law Firm Worker’s Compensation attorney, call us at 678-271-9111, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, fill out our secure online contact form or drop by our offices – located at 924 Gainesville Hwy Suite 200 in Buford. To learn about our other practice areas – including Personal Injury and Social Security Disability – be sure to visit us online at www.elf-legal.com.