If you are working for an employer who has at least three employees and is not exempt from workers’ compensation insurance requirements, then you should have workers’ compensation coverage if you ever injured on the job. This coverage will ensure that you receive wage benefits for any time that you have to take off of work in recovery and medical benefits to cover your treatment. If you pass away from a work related injury, then your dependents can receive those benefits. If you have recently been injured at work and you have questions about your rights within the workers’ compensation system in Augusta, Georgia, then you can get answers from Ted A. Greve & Associates. Read on for answers to the most frequently asked questions about Augusta, Georgia workers’ compensation coverage.
What Requirements Do I Have to Meet to Have Workers’ Compensation Coverage?
As long as your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation coverage, and you are classified as an employee (rather than as an independent contractor), then you should have coverage from the first day that you begin working at that job. It doesn’t matter if you are a part time worker or a full time worker. The number of hours that you work won’t affect whether or not you are covered. When it comes to the injury, itself, you are covered even if you caused the incident by mistake.
If you caused the incident intentionally or while breaking the law, then your injury may not be covered. It is also important to report the injury quickly to ensure that you are not denied coverage for reporting it too late or for creating any doubt as to the actual cause of your injury. You have 30 days to report any injuries before your claim can be denied on that basis alone. Finally, you have to seek medical treatment from a company approved physician in order to receive medical benefits.
What Kind of Medical Benefits Can I Receive with an Augusta, Georgia Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Whenever you are facing an urgent medical situation, you can go to the nearest emergency room, and your medical benefits will cover the expense. However, from that point forward or from the start (if the injury is not urgent), you must seek treatment from company approved physicians. Your doctor’s appointments, hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, mental health care appointments, prescriptions, medical devices, and any other medical expenses will be covered. In many cases, you can even request coverage for the mileage required to get to and from appointments. To get this mileage coverage, you just have to show that your round trip is greater than ten miles.
You should be able to receive medical benefits for up to 400 weeks from the date of the injury, unless that injury was catastrophic in nature. If you are paralyzed, permanently disfigured, lost a limb, or blinded by the work related injury, then you have catastrophic injuries. These types of catastrophic injuries could make you eligible for medical benefits for the rest of your life.
What Kind of Wage Benefits Will I Receive with an Augusta, Georgia, Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Wage benefits will not be provided at all if you are out of work for less than eight days. Once you miss the eighth day of work, you will be able to receive wage benefits at 2/3 of your usual wages. In cases where you are able to return to work in a light duty position, you will receive 2/3 of the difference between your former wages and current wages. You should receive your first wage benefits within 21 days of the eighth day of missed work. Yet, if you miss more than 21 days, you will also get a check to cover the first seven days. The maximum you can receive in weekly wage benefits when you are out of work completely is $575 for up to 400 weeks. In light duty work situations, you can receive a maximum of $383 for up to 350 weeks. Again, when injuries are catastrophic, these limits may not apply.
How Do I File an Augusta, Georgia, Workers’ Compensation Claim Without My Employer’s Help?
The majority of workers’ compensation claims are filed with the assistance of your employer who initiates the process when you report the injury. They will do so by notifying their workers’ compensation insurance company that the injury occurred. However, if your employer will not help you with this or if they deny that your injury should be covered, you are able to pursue a workers’ compensation claim without your employer’s help. To do so, you need to get Form WC-14 from the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. You can do this by writing to the SBWC at 270 Peachtree Street, NW; Atlanta, GA 30303 or by calling them at (800) 533-0682. The form is also available online from the SBWC website at www.sbwc.georgia.gov. At the same time, if you are encountering any resistance with your Augusta, Georgia, workers’ compensation claim, contact Ted A. Greve & Associates to learn more.
What Happens if I Disagree With the Decision of My Employer or Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
In cases where a dispute or disagreement arises between yourself and your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance, you may need to request a hearing. It is a good idea to have an attorney with you from this point forward. You can request the hearing with the same form, WC-14, but you must check the box that says that you are requesting a hearing this time. The hearing should be scheduled within 60 days of when the form is received by the judge. The judge will typically order mediation, which can give you the opportunity to resolve the case outside of the courtroom. A representative of the workers’ compensation insurance company will be there with their attorneys and evidence. You should come to mediation prepared with an attorney and evidence of your own. If the case is not resolved in mediation, then it will go to the scheduled hearing, and you will want an attorney for this, too.
How Expensive Will the Augusta, Georgia, Workers’ Compensation Attorney’s Fees Be?
Workers’ compensation attorneys in Augusta, Georgia, are limited to 25% of your awarded weekly benefits. Further, their fee must be approved by the SBWC if it is more than $100. This helps to ensure that nobody is taken advantage of by an unscrupulous attorney. You can trust the professional workers compensation attorneys in Augusta GA at Ted A. Greve & Associates. Call today to learn more.