Frequently Asked Questions About Workers' Comp

Understanding your rights to workers' compensation benefits can be challenging, especially if you don't have answers to your most pressing questions. Below is a list of questions we hear most frequently asked. The answers we have provided should help you better understand your rights; but if you're left with more questions, we encourage you to contact our firm and speak with our experienced attorney, Dennis L. Duncan.

What should I do if I am injured on the job?

The first thing you should do is seek medical attention for your injury. Next, file a report with your employer as soon as possible. This will create a timeline of your injury that will be beneficial when you file a claim for workers' compensation benefits.

In the case of an occupational illness or disease, you should file a report as soon as you become aware of it. Georgia law only permits you one year from the date of your injury, or when you become aware of an injury or illness to file a claim for benefits. After this window, you lose your right to file a claim.

Am I required to see a specific doctor?

In cases of emergency, you are allowed to see any doctor you wish in order to seek treatment. When you are no longer in immediate need of medical attention, you are advised to see a doctor who has been certified by your employer. The list of doctors your employer has certified should be made available to you and should include no less than six doctors.

What expenses are covered by workers' comp?

Medical care, doctors' visits, therapy and rehabilitation (in some cases), prescription costs and lost wages are all covered by workers' compensation. If necessary, your travel expenses to and from your doctor may be covered as well.

How much will I receive in benefits?

Your medical benefits will cover all authorized costs associated with your work-related injury. As for weekly benefits, you can expect to receive two-thirds of your weekly wage. If your injury occurred on or after July 1, 2015, your weekly benefits cannot exceed $550.00 per week by state law.

How long will I be paid workers' comp benefits?

This depends on two main factors: the classification of your injury and when the injury occurred. If your injury is either catastrophic or non-catastrophic and it occurred on or before June 30, 2013, you are entitled to medical benefits for the rest of your life. If your injury is non-catastrophic and it occurred on or after July 1, 2013, you are entitled to up to 400 weeks of medical benefits.

If your injury occurred on or after July 1, 1992, then you can expect to receive up to 400 weeks in weekly benefits. For catastrophic injuries, weekly benefits will be paid out for your lifetime. Weekly benefits only start if you have missed at least seven days of work because of your injury.

Does workers' comp cover accidental death?

Yes. If you accidently die in a work-related accident, your dependants, which include your spouse, children and stepchildren, are entitled to workers' compensation death benefits.

Is it possible to collect SSDI and workers' comp at the same time?

Yes. If you suffer a catastrophic injury that leaves you disabled and unable to work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, which you may collect at the same time you are collecting workers' compensation benefits. Note that the amount you receive from SSDI may be lowered if you are also collecting workers' compensation.

What happens if my employer refuses to compensate me for my injury?

You may need to file a claim with the State Board of Workers' Compensation that will then schedule a hearing to discuss the facts of your case. Though you have the right to represent yourself, you may want to seek help from a lawyer to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

How do I get in touch with a lawyer?

If you'd like to get in touch with someone from the Law Offices of Dennis L. Duncan, PC, call our office in Macon at 478-207-6649 or 800-728-6168 (toll free). You may also send us an email. Attorney Dennis L. Duncan has been a trial lawyer for 25 years and will confidently advocate on your behalf during a workers' compensation hearing.