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Tillman & Associates, Attorneys at Law

Changes to Georgia's workers' comp to go into effect

On July 1, some rules changed regarding workers' compensation laws in Georgia. The benefits that workers receive will go up although the length of time they will receive the payouts will shorten under a bill that the governor signed. Exact figures will increase temporary total disability payments from $500 to $525 per week while temporary partial disability payments will rise from $334 to $350 per week. Employees are eligible to receive these payments for 350 weeks, or just under seven years, even if they find another job that pays them less than what they made before a workplace accident. Previously, for accidents that occurred on or after July 1, 1992, workers could receive benefits for as long as 400 weeks, or just under eight years.

Workers' compensation will pay lifetime benefits to someone who suffers a catastrophic injury although that could change if the person's ability to work changes. The new legislation also sets a maximum time limit of 15 days for employers or insurers to make payments on mileage claims. It also reduces the interest that a recipient pays from 7 percent to 5 percent, which means more money for the worker.

Beginning July 1, 2013, family members, including a spouse, child or stepchild, of those who die due to a work-related accident will receive two-thirds of the person's average weekly wage or up to $525. Finally, other conflicting laws will be repealed.

Changes in workers' compensation laws in Georgia could possibly impact the financial benefits a worker could receive. A workers' compensation attorney might be able to help clients fight for their benefits if they need to file a claim.

Source: State of Georgia, "Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about Georgia's Workers' Compensation Law," July, 2013

Source: Risk & Insurance, "Georgia: New workers' comp law takes effect", Nancy Grover, August 29, 2013

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