Common questions about the workers’ compensation system in Georgia

After involvement in a workplace accident, injured employees may have many questions about the workers’ compensation system.

When workers in Georgia are injured on the job, they often wonder how they will make a full recovery emotionally, physically and financially. The workers' compensation system, according to Georgia.gov, provides injured employees with medical benefits, supplemental income and rehabilitation support in an effort to help them return to work. The dependents of those who pass away in a work-related accident may also be able to claim benefits.

Is every company covered by workers' compensation?

According to the Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation, every business with three or more employees is required by law to obtain workers' compensation insurance coverage. Businesses without this insurance may face serious fines and penalties. Employees are covered under their employer's workers' compensation policy the first day they begin their job.

What should employees do after a workplace injury?

After a workplace accident occurs, injured employees should let their boss, foreman or supervisor know about the situation as soon as possible. Employees who do not let their employer know about what occurred within 30 days may lose their eligibility to receive workers' compensation benefits.

Can employees pick their own physician?

Employers are required to post information about which physicians their employees can go to in the case of a work-related accident in one of two ways. First, employers can post a Traditional Panel of Physicians list that includes at least six healthcare providers. Injured workers can choose any one of these six if involved in a workplace accident.

Second, employers can post the name of the Workers' Compensation Managed Care Organization which their organization has contracted with to provide medical services to injured employees. Employers must provide their employees with notice of the eligible medical service providers and make the 24-hour toll free number to the managed care organization accessible.

When do injured workers receive benefits?

Employees with an injury that renders them unable to work for a period of more than seven days can receive weekly income benefits. This supplemental income source is mailed to an injured employee within 21 days of the first day he or she missed work. Those who miss more than 21 consecutive days of work will receive supplemental income for the first week of lost work time.

Reach out to an attorney

After a workplace accident in Georgia, injured employees may still have many questions about their right to workers' compensation benefits and the associated process. In this situation, employees should contact an attorney in their area for assistance and legal guidance.