If you get hurt on the job or acquire a work-related illness, you may wonder if you can file for workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical costs and replace the wages you can’t earn while you’re unable to work.

Since workers’ compensation is a state program, the rules vary drastically from state to state. Information that you hear from friends or loved ones could be accurate for their situation but not for you as a resident of Georgia. The better you know the rules for Georgia’s workers’ compensation program, the easier it will be to seek the benefits you need.

When are employers in Georgia required to have workers’ compensation insurance?

Providing workers’ compensation coverage is a standard state requirement. If the company regularly has three or more employees on its payroll, even if those workers are part-time, the company has an obligation to those workers to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

Your employer can’t punish you for seeking the benefits you deserve

Just because your employer has a policy, that doesn’t mean they’ll be happy about you trying to use it. It is possible, especially if you work for a smaller company, that your employer will try to pressure you not to file a workers’ compensation claim.

They might ask you to use your own health insurance instead of workers’ compensation benefits. They could even threaten to fire you if you ask for benefits or accommodations so that you can keep working despite your injury. Retaliating against workers who assert their own rights is illegal. Knowing that can help you stand up for yourself when you need those benefits because of a work-acquired medical condition. An experienced attorney can help you protect your rights.