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Frequently asked questions about Georgia workers' compensation

There are a lot of questions that come to mind when you are injured at work. Because Georgia has a workers' compensation insurance program, almost all workers in the state are covered by this program.

Many misconceptions surround workers' compensation claims. Here are some of the common workers' compensation questions and their answers.

Who pays for workers' compensation?

Your employer pays for workers' compensation coverage. This is considered a normal business expense in this state. Your employer can't pass the cost on to you, nor can they require that you pay for coverage.

When am I covered?

All workers who are employed by a business that meets the requirements are covered on their first day on the job. Even if you get hurt right after you sign in for the day, workers' compensation coverage applies as long as your case meets the criteria for benefits.

What are the employer requirements for coverage?

Any employer with at least three workers must have coverage. The workers don't have to be full-time employees. Even a business with three part-time employees needs to have this type of insurance. The state provides an online tool for verifying an employer's coverage so employees can check that out.

When do I need to report an injury?

You should report it as soon as you know you are injured. You must report the injury within 30 days of it happening because you could lose your eligibility if you don't meet this time limit.

Where can I get medical care?

Workers' compensation coverage will pay for authorized medical care that you get as long as it is related to the injury. Your employer must let you know which medical care providers are appropriate. This is done by posting either the name of the Workers' Compensation Managed Care Organization or a Traditional Panel of Physicians that lists at least six doctors.

What kinds of benefits might I receive?

The circumstances of your injury determine what benefits you might receive. These benefits can include medical care and missed wages. The missed wages benefit is based on your average weekly wage. You will receive two-thirds of that amount, but there is a maximum weekly payment of $575. You must be off work for more than seven days, but the first payment won't be mailed to you right away. It must be mailed within 21 days of the first missed work day. You will only be paid for the first week you missed if you aren't able to work for at least 21 consecutive days.

If you don't think that your claim is being handled correctly, you do have the option to appeal. Be sure that you understand what is going on and what options you have before you proceed.

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