In Georgia, an injured employee’s primary recourse for recovery is sought under workers’ compensation law. Workers’ compensation is a complex area of the law and essentially can be broken down to the following benefits:
An injured employee covered by workers’ compensation is entitled to medical treatment at the employer’s expense. If your accident occurred on or after July 1, 2013 medical treatment shall be limited to a maximum period of 400 weeks from the accident date. If your injury is catastrophic in nature you may be entitled to lifetime medical benefits.
TTD: Temporary Total Disability Benefits
TTD benefits are due to an injured worker when his or her earning capacity has been “totally” impaired. TTD benefits are two-thirds of the average weekly wage, but no more than $525 per week for injuries occurring on or after July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2015. For injuries occurring on or after July 1, 2015, you will receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage not to exceed $550.00 per week. Unless an injury is determined to be “catastrophic,” you are only entitled to TTD benefits for a maximum period of 400 weeks from the date of injury.
You do not necessarily have to be 100% physically disabled to be disabled from work. If you are able to return to light duty work and your employer cannot or will not accept you back at work, you may still be entitled to TTD benefits.
TPD: Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
You are entitled to TPD benefits when your earning capacity is impaired but you are not totally disabled from work. This means if you are injured and are unable to earn a weekly wage equal to the wage you were earning, you are entitled to two-thirds the difference between your wage before and after the accident, but no more than $350 per week for injuries occurring on or after July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2015. For injuries occurring after July 1, 2015, this amount may not exceed $367.00 per week.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits
Unlike TTD and TPD, this benefit relates to your level of physical disability, not earning capacity. PPD is based entirely on a formula that takes into account your percentage of impairment, part of the body impaired, and compensation rate. These benefits do not start until after an employee stops receiving weekly TTD or TPD payments.
Penalties For Late Payments
If you are not paid your TTD, TPD, or PPD benefits on-time, your employer may owe you a 15% penalty in addition to the amounts they already owe you. This is true if your employer incorrectly denied you your benefits for a period of time, or if they are already paying you your weekly benefits and miss a payment or mail it to you late.
Waiting Period For Receiving Benefits
You are entitled to weekly 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.
Each workers’ compensation case is different. Feel free to contact our office to discuss your case.