As this blog has discussed previously, workers' compensation benefits are available to cover the medical bills and lost wages of Georgia workers who are hurt or get sick while on the job. The state's workers' compensation program offers different types of disability income, depending on the individual worker's situation.
For instance, a worker whose injury leaves them unable to work for the time being is eligible for temporary total disability benefits. As long as the worker's treating physician agrees that they cannot return to their job, they can get up to two-thirds of their wage, subject to certain statutory caps. Temporary total disability benefits are only available when one's injury keeps them out of work for more than seven days. Moreover, temporary benefits expire after 400 weeks in most cases.
In other cases, a person may be able to come back quickly after an injury but must take a position that pays a lower wage. In such cases, temporary partial disability benefits will cover two-thirds of the difference between what the worker was making before their injury and what they are able to draw in wages after the injury. Like temporary total disability, these benefits last for either 350 weeks or until a doctor certifies that the worker can return to their old job.
Although getting these benefits may seem relatively straightforward, that is not always the case. Sometimes, a doctor retained by the employer may try to compel a person to go back to work earlier than they should. This is just one of many reasons why having the help of an experienced workers' compensation attorney may prove to be invaluable.