Workers’ Compensation and the Law

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Workers’ compensation is an accident insurance program paid for by your employer, which may provide you with medical, rehabilitation and income benefits if you are injured on the job. It also provides benefits for your dependents if you die as a result of a job­related injury.

Coverage begins on the day you start working for a company. The law requires any business with three or more employees, including full-time or part­-time employee, to have workers’ compensation insurance.

How do you know how much you will be paid while you are recuperating from your injuries? An employer should be looking at the thirteen weeks you worked prior to your accident. They will then take an average of those weeks to compute an average weekly wage. You will be entitled to two-­thirds of that, up to the cap in Georgia, which right now is $550.00 per week.

Once your case is approved, all medical bills should be filed through your workers’ compensation carrier and not your health insurance company.

When you suffer an on-­the-­job injury, should you go to your own physician for treatment? No, your company will have a list of approved doctors, which will include at least two orthopedic specialists, from which you may choose.

If, however, you are taken to the emergency room by ambulance, which is many times the case with workplace injuries, don’t worry. These costs are covered under workers’ compensation. If you need to see a specialist, you will then choose from the list provided by your company.

Keep in mind you are not owed any income benefits until you have been out of work for seven days. After twenty-­one days, they will go back and pay you for the first seven days. Sounds strange, but that is the way it works.
Typically, it is going to be day 14 or 15 before you receive your first check.

Also, be sure to find out whether you have short-­term or long­-term disability. You may be entitled to additional benefits through these programs.


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