Georgia Workers’ Comp law can be complex and frustrating for injured workers. For many injured workers, it seems as though the workers’ comp insurance company is actively working to defeat your ability to get the medical care and compensation that you are entitled to.
- If you are injured on the job, you may receive medical, rehabilitation and income benefits. These
benefits are provided to help you return to work. Your dependents may also receive benefits if
you die as a result of a job-related injury. Our job is to help injured workers receive the maximum compensation benefits that they are entitled to under the Georgia Workers’ Compensation system. If you have a work-related injury, you are entitled to have the assistance of a lawyer that you choose to help you with your workers’ compensation claim.
2. Your employer is required to post a list of at least six doctors or the name of the certified
WC/MCO (Managed Care Organization) which provides medical care. You may choose a doctor from the list and make one change to another doctor on the list without the permission of your employer. However, in an emergency, you may get temporary medical care from any doctor until the emergency is over; then you must get treatment from a doctor on the posted list.
3. Your authorized doctor bills, hospital bills, rehabilitation in some cases, physical therapy,
prescriptions and necessary travel expenses will be paid if injury was caused by an accident on
4. An injured employee is entitled to weekly income benefits if they have more than seven days of lost time due to an injury. Your first check should be mailed to you within 21 days after the first day you missed work. If you are out more than 21 consecutive days due to your injury, you will be paid for the first week. You’ll typically receive disability benefits and payments from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
5. Accidents are classified as being either catastrophic or non-catastrophic. Catastrophic injuries are those involving amputations, severe paralysis, severe head injuries, severe burns, blindness, or of a nature and severity that prevents the employee from being able to perform his or her prior work and any work available in substantial numbers within the national economy. In catastrophic cases, you are entitled to receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to the maximum allowed under the law for a job-related injury for as long as you are unable to return to work – this is your lost wage claim. You are also entitled to receive medical and vocational rehabilitation benefits to help in recovering from your injury. If you have a permanent partial disability,
6. In all other cases (non-catastrophic), you are entitled to receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage, but not more than the maximum allowed under the law for a job-related injury. You will receive these weekly benefits as long as you are totally disabled, but no longer than 400 weeks.
If you are not working and it is determined that you have been capable of performing work with
restrictions for 52 consecutive weeks or 78 aggregate weeks, your weekly income benefits will be
reduced to two-thirds of your average weekly wage, but no more than the maximum allowed
under the law, not to exceed 350 weeks.
7. When you are able to return to work but can only get a lower paying job as a result of your injury, you are entitled to a weekly benefit of not more than the maximum allowed under the law for no longer than 350 weeks.
8. Your dependent(s), in the event you die as a result of an on-the-job accident, will receive burial
expenses up to the maximum allowed under the law and two-thirds of your average weekly wage,
but not more than the maximum allowed under the law. These benefits are referred to as death benefits. A widowed spouse with no children will be paid a maximum allowed by law at the time of injury. Benefits continue until he/she remarries or openly cohabits with a person of the opposite sex.
9. If you do not receive benefits when due, the insurance carrier/employer must pay a penalty which will be added to your payments.
FAQs About Georgia Workers’ Compensation Law
1. You should follow written rules of safety and other reasonable policies and procedures of the
2. You must report any accident immediately, but not later than 30 days after the accident, to your
employer, your employer’s representative, your foreman or immediate supervisor. Failure to do
so may result in the loss of the benefits.
3. You must accept reasonable medical treatment and rehabilitation services when ordered by the
State Board of Workers’ Compensation or the Board may suspend your benefits.
4. No compensation shall be allowed for an injury or death due to the employee’s willful misconduct.
5. You must notify the insurance carrier/employer of your address when you move to a new location.
You should notify the insurance carrier/employer when you are able to return to full-time or parttime work and report the amount of your weekly earnings because you may be entitled to some
income benefits even though you have returned to work.
6. A dependent spouse of a deceased employee shall notify the insurance carrier/employer upon
change of address or remarriage.
7. You must attempt a job approved by the authorized treating physician even if the pay is lower
than the job you had when you were injured. If you do not attempt the job, your benefits may be
8. If you believe you are entitled to income benefits and your insurance carrier/employer denies
these benefits, you must file a claim within one year after the date of last authorized medical
treatment or within two years of your last payment of weekly benefits or you will lose your right to
9. If your dependent(s) do not receive allowable benefit payments, the dependent(s) must file a
claim with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation within one year after your death or lose the right to these benefits.
10. Any request for reimbursement to you for mileage or other expenses related to medical care must
be submitted to the insurance carrier/employer within one year of the date the expense was
11. If an employee unjustifiably refuses to submit to a drug test following an on-the-job injury, there
shall be a presumption that the accident and injury were caused by alcohol or drugs. If the
presumption is not overcome by other evidence, any claim for workers’ compensation benefits
would be denied.
12. Do not make any false statements in the effort to try to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. This crime is a misdemeanor punishable $10,000 and/or imprisonment up to 12 months. Also, any false statements or false evidence given under oath during the course of any administrative or appellate division hearing is perjury.