Getting hurt on the job often results in immediate medical expenses. Thankfully, many people qualify for workers’ compensation coverage that can cover these costs. Medical benefits will generally pay for someone’s treatment until they are either capable of returning to work or they achieve maximum medical improvement given their diagnosis.
In Georgia, a workers’ compensation claim might also lead to disability benefits, which can help someone pay their basic cost of living expenses while they have no income or significantly reduced income because of their injuries. An injured worker can receive up to two-thirds of their lost wages, although there is a limit to the maximum benefits possible based on average state wages.
Benefits may last indefinitely
There are several different types of disability benefits available to workers in Georgia. There are both temporary and permanent disability benefits, and workers may receive partial or total benefits depending on whether they can work a lower-paid job or are completely incapable of working at all.
In theory, a worker can potentially receive disability benefits for up to 400 weeks, although those with catastrophic injuries may qualify for lifetime benefits. There are a few limits that do apply to what workers will receive. Temporary disability benefits usually don’t start until after missing seven days of work, although workers can receive compensation for those first days of lost wages if their inability to work continues for at least 21 days or more.
Those temporary benefits will generally continue until it becomes necessary to make a change. If someone is able to return to work, then their benefits may end or change. A return to the same employment would mean that disability pay completely stops. A return to a lower-paid position might result in permanent partial disability benefits if there is a demonstrable issue directly affecting someone’s ability to work.
In a few situations, employers could potentially challenge someone’s eligibility for disability benefits based on medical non-compliance or the belief that they could return to work if they wanted to do so. Learning about the benefits available through workers’ compensation in Georgia may make it easier for employees to pursue the benefits that they need because of their job-related health issues.