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Workers' Compensation FAQs

Not content to sit in an office cube typing on a computer all day, you enjoy the physical aspects of your job. Sure, what you do is demanding, but you appreciate that you have something to show for your effort at day's end. You can't complain because the pay is good and your coworkers know how to have a fun time. Unlike other individuals, you don't take your work home with you. Everything is left at the construction site at the end of the shift.

Well, almost everything.

What you've been bringing home from work is back pain. It started out as a twinge in your lower back that flared up infrequently, but now the pain is consistently present. Although you don't want to mention the pain at work, it has begun influencing your ability to do your job. You are in tough situation because you are concerned about your job security should you bring up the issue to management. You can't afford the doctor's bills on your own and could lose your job if your injuries are not treated.

In the state of Georgia, your rights as a worker are protected under Georgia's Workers' Compensation Law. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about workers' medical coverage:

1. What is workers' comp?

Businesses employing three or more workers are required by law to pay into an insurance program designated for on-the-job accidents. While the coverage may differ according to the insurance policy, workers may be given medical, rehabilitation and income benefits to supplement the loss in wages from missing work. Family members may be entitled to benefits should workers die from their injuries.

2. What is the period of coverage?

Workers are covered by the insurance on the first day of work.

3. How do I know if my company provides workers' comp?

Before you file a claim, you can check the database provided on Georgia's State Board of Workers' Compensation website. In some situations, employers may not need to extend coverage to workers, so it is important to verify whether your employer does pay into a workers' comp insurance policy. Railroad carriers, certain government agencies, and laborers on farms and in households may not be covered by workers' comp.

4. How long do I have to report an on-the-job injury?

The period for filing a workers' comp claim is limited to 30 days, so it is recommended that those hurt at work report their injuries as soon as possible.

5. How do I file a workers' comp claim?

You can print out Form WC-14 from the State Board of Workers' Compensation website. You can also communicate with the board via phone or mailed correspondence.

Getting injured on the job can stress both your body and mind. Please remember that if you are hurt while working, you have rights. Those who are concerned about retaining their source of employment while receiving workers' comp benefits are encouraged to meet with a knowledgeable attorney to determine the best course of action.

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