A bill written in response to recommendations from the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Board has passed by unanimous vote through the House of Representatives, and could mean big changes for injured workers across the state. As the bill moves on to the next step in the legislative process, it is extremely important that injured workers in Georgia understand how the measure could affect them and their eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits, as House Bill 154 would make significant changes to the state workers’ comp system that could be implemented as early as July 1, 2013. If you have suffered a serious injury on the job in Georgia, and you think you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, or if your workers’ comp claim has been denied, contact our knowledgeable attorneys at Rechtman & Spevak to discuss your legal options.
How HB 154 Could Affect Injured Workers in GA
One major change proposed by the pending bill is that, should HB 154 be signed into law, it would limit medical treatment to 400 weeks following the date of the accident for workers who sustain non-catastrophic injuries on the job in Georgia. In addition, the measure would increase the maximum weekly benefit rate for workers who are entitled to receive payment of temporary total (TTD) and temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits resulting from a workplace injury. The maximum TTD rate will increase to $525.00 from $500.00, while the maximum TPD rate will go from $334.00 to $350.00.
There are several other important changes that House Bill 154 would make to Georgia’s workers’ compensation system. The measure would reduce from 30 to 15 days, the period of time in which insurers must reimburse injured employees for mileage they have submitted for travel to their medical appointments. Another significant change is that this proposed law would require injured workers in Georgia to make a good faith effort to attempt a light duty job offered by their employer for a specified minimum period. If a light duty job has been approved as being suitable for the injured worker by their authorized treating physician and has been properly offered to the employee, then the injured worker must attempt the light duty job for at least eight cumulative hours, or one scheduled workday, whichever is greater. If the employee met this standard, and then contended that he or she is unable to continue performing the job, then the injured worker’s income benefits would be immediately reinstated.
Our Attorneys Will Help You Fight For Your Rights
Here at Rechtman & Spevak, we understand how devastating a workplace injury can be, and how difficult it sometimes is for injured workers and their families to cover the cost of medical bills and missed time at work when the primary breadwinner is unable to perform his or her duties at work. Because of this, our workers’ compensation lawyers are completely dedicated to helping our clients pursue the workers’ compensation benefits they may be entitled to following an on-the-job injury. If you have been injured in a GA workplace accident, or if you lost a loved one in a fatal accident on the job site, consult our reputable workers' compensation attorneys at Rechtman & Spevak today. Our law firm is located in Atlanta, and our attorneys have extensive experience protecting the rights of injured workers throughout the state.