Georgia Workers' Compensation
INTRODUCTION TO GA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
In order to qualify for benefits in the Georgia workers’ compensation system (GAWC), the injured worker must have an injury that arises out of the course and scope of your employment. What this means is that the accident must have happened on the job while you are doing a task that was required by the employer. Although most on-the-job accidents occur on the premises, an errand being run for the employer at their request is also covered under the GAWC.
Please keep in mind that this is a “No Fault” system; you can be totally at fault or no one can be at fault and you are still be entitled to the benefits.
The basic benefits are as follows:
1. Income benefits that may be comprised of either temporary total disability (TTD), temporary partial disability (TPD) or permanent partial disability benefits (PPD).
2. Medical benefits and these include doctor’s visits, hospital treatment, prescriptions, therapy and medical equipment.
Typically in the GAWC, you are entitled to 400 weeks of income benefits from the date of injury. This benefit may be reduced to 350 weeks depending on some circumstances, which may arise in your case. The benefit to be paid is two-thirds of the average weekly wage (AWW), which is based on your earnings in the 13 weeks before you were injured. The current maximum is $525 per week; this number has changed over the years and depends on the date of your accident.
There is NO benefit for pain and suffering. There is also NO right to a jury trial as all matters are handled by a Judge.
The GAWC Judge cannot order the employer/carrier to award a lump sum settlement. The Judge can only rule on benefits, which may be due and owing at that time and not future benefits.