If you have been injured on the job in Georgia and you are unable to return to work because of your work injury, you may be entitled to receive weekly income benefits as long as you are disabled from working. However, you likely have many other questions about the process, the amount of the payment, and whether the workers’ compensation benefits are taxable?
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and accompanying answers:
Under the Georgia workers’ compensation laws, how much will my income benefit be?
Presuming you have been injured on the job and the authorized treating physician determines that you are unable to return to work, you may be entitled to temporary total or partial disability benefits. The dollar value of these benefits depend on two factors: (1) your date of accident and (2) your average weekly wage (AWW) for the 13 weeks prior to your work accident. If you have not been employed for 13 weeks prior to the accident (such as for seasonal employment), the Georgia law provides alternative measures for calculating your wages.
Work Compensation Average Weekly Wage Calculator
Temporary Total Disability
To determine your AWW, the State Board will take the sum of your last thirteen (13) weeks of gross or before taxed wages earned prior to the accident date. This window of wages is the only set of wages the law will consider when calculating the AWW. Subsequently, the law will award two-thirds (2/3) of that wage as your workers’ compensation rate. The statutory calculation is as follows:
2/3 (.667) x AWW (average weekly wage) = weekly workers’ compensation rate
It is important to note that Georgia’s maximum workers’ compensation rate is capped at $675 for injuries occurring after July 1, 2019. Injuries occurring before July 1, 2019 is capped at a lower rate.
What are the workers’ compensation benefits in Atlanta GA?
Wage Benefit Rate for Partial Disability
If your injury does not merit total disability, you will be granted “partial disability” status and returned to work in a light-duty capacity. A common problem with light-duty work is that it may pay less due to the work injury. Workers’ compensation is designed to help make up for the difference.
To figure out your payment, calculate the difference between the AWW prior to the accident and current wages. Subsequently, multiply that amount by 2/3. The calculation for temporary partial disability benefits may look like this:
(Average weekly wage – post injury wages) x 2/3 = weekly temporary partial workers’ compensation payment
To illustrate how this plays out, let’s say that your average weekly wages were $400 per week and you now make $250 per week doing restricted duty work with less hours. The difference between your AWW and current payments is $150, and 2/3 of this amount is $100. Thus, you will now be making $250 per week for performing your new job plus $100 in temporary partial disability benefits (TPD) through workers’ compensation.
The most you can receive in Georgia for the weekly TPD is $450 per week provided the injury occurred on or after July 1, 2019. Injuries occurring before this date is capped at a lower rate.
How long will I be receiving my workers’ compensation benefits?
As benefits are based on your restrictions, as ordered by the authorized treating physician, there is no guarantee as to how many weeks of workers’ compensation benefits you will receive. The maximum number of weeks for temporary total disability benefits is 400 weeks from the date of injury. For temporary partial disability benefits, the maximum weeks available is 350 from the date of injury.
If your claim is deemed “catastrophic”, then you may be eligible for benefits for the rest of your life. These injuries are very serious and to the extreme that you could never go back to work in any capacity. These injuries include the loss of body parts, burns over a certain percentage of the body, or paralysis.
Should I settle my workers’ compensation case?
There is always the opportunity of settling your workers’ compensation case. If you settle, you will get a lump sum of money instead of weekly benefits. People often choose this option to escape the stress of fighting with their employer and their employer’s insurance company. The challenge is determining if the money you receive in your lump sum settlement payment is too low. Or will the settlement be sufficient to cover your ongoing medical expenses?
If you are unsure, contact our workers’ compensation lawyers. With years of experience in the industry, our workers’ compensation attorneys have a good understanding of the benefits owed to you and whether there are any drawbacks in settling your workers’ compensation claim.