Georgia law requires most employers to carry workers' compensation insurance, which is used to provide employees with a range of benefits if they're injured in the workplace or while performing duties in the course and scope of their employment.
In addition to covering necessary medical treatment, workers' compensation benefits include payments for employees rendered disabled as a result of on-the-job injuries.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits Eligibility
PPD benefits are available to workers whose injuries result in some degree of permanent impairment. A workplace injury that results in a herniated disc or the loss of a limb are examples of injuries that could qualify an employee for PPD benefits.
Once an injured worker reaches the point of maximum medical improvement, his treating physician can assign an impairment rating. PPD benefits are only payable once the worker is no longer receiving temporary total disability (TTD) or temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits.
Unlike TTD or TPD benefits—which are intended to compensate workers for wages lost as a result of an on-the-job injury—PPD benefits are paid to injured employees as compensation for the loss of a body part, the loss of the use of a body part, or impairment to the injured worker's body as a whole.
Under Georgia law, PPD benefits can be paid to workers who've sustained permanently disabling injuries, regardless of whether the injury caused them to miss work or lose wages.
Calculating Permanent Partial Disability Payments
Georgia workers' compensation PPD benefits are paid at a rate equal to two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wage up to a maximum of $725 per week, which is the same rate as what the injured worker would have been paid in TTD benefits while they were unable to work. These benefits are paid to the injured worker for the number of weeks determined by the disability percentage assigned by their treating physician, based on the American Medical Association's Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.
The number of weeks of PPD payments varies depending on the part of the body that was injured. Did you sustain a permanently disabling injury on the job? Our Permanent Partial Disability Calculator can help you determine what your impairment rating is worth.
Maximum Period of PPD Benefits
In Georgia, the maximum number of weeks injured workers can receive benefits for scheduled injuries are as follows:
- 20 weeks for the loss of a small toe
- 30 weeks for the loss of the big toe
- 25 weeks for the loss of a little finger
- 30 weeks for the loss of a ring finger
- 35 weeks for the loss of a middle finger
- 60 weeks for the loss of a thumb
- 75 weeks for the traumatic loss of hearing in one ear
- 135 weeks for the loss of a foot
- 150 weeks for the traumatic loss of hearing in both ears
- 150 weeks for the loss of vision of one eye
- 160 weeks for the loss of a hand
- 225 weeks for the loss of an arm or leg
- 300 weeks for disability to the body as a whole
Permanent impairment to the neck or back is calculated based on disability to the body as a whole. Also, injuries to specific body parts can result in alternative ratings. An example of this would be if an employee sustained an injury to their ankle. The treating physician could issue a rating to the foot, leg, and body as a whole. As a practical matter, the injured worker should be paid PPD benefits for the rating which results in the greatest number of weeks of benefits.
Experienced Workers' Comp Attorneys Can Help
If you have suffered an injury as a result of on-the-job work accident in Georgia, you may be entitled to PPD benefits.
Rechtman & Spevak's team of skilled workers' compensation attorneys can help you fight for the compensation you're owed. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case.