If you’ve been hurt at work and you can’t go back to your job, or if you can’t earn the same income that you did prior to the accident, then you are understandably concerned about how you are going to pay your bills and afford medical treatment.
Workers’ Compensation Can Help
If you are eligible for workers’ compensation in Georgia, then you may get help paying your bills in the following ways:
- You may be eligible for income benefits. Once you have been out of work because of your workplace injury for seven days, then you become eligible for income benefits. More specifically, you are entitled to two-thirds of your average weekly pay up to the statutory maximum. Income benefits should start within 21 days of your first missed day of work. If you are out of work for more than 21 consecutive days, then you will also be paid for the first seven days of work that you missed.
- You may have your medical bills paid. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer should pay your injury-related medical bills directly to the provider so that you don’t have to worry about paying these expenses. You are required, however, to use a medical provider from a list provided to you by your employer.
- You may be entitled to more than the amount you are receiving. Just because your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer has started paying you income benefits, it doesn’t mean that you are being paid the correct amount. Calculating the correct benefit rate can be complicated in some situations, and the insurer will not always go out of their way to make sure that it has been done right. Sometimes, your past earnings are not as important as what a co-worker earned if you haven’t been on the job that long. Tips, bonuses, and meal allowances can also be factors. The only way to know for sure if you are being paid the right amount is to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
This Can Change If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied
If your employer denies your workers’ compensation claim, then you will not be paid income benefits while your claim is disputed. However, you may qualify for unemployment if you can show that you were not fired for cause. If you receive unemployment benefits, and then subsequently are awarded workers’ compensation for the same period, then your employer will be able to take a credit for the amounts previously paid in unemployment. This is because under Georgia law you are not entitled to a double recovery of benefits.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you get the benefits that you deserve so that you can pay your bills during this difficult time. For more information, please contact us via this website today.