How to Apply for Workers’ Compensation in Tucker
Nobody wants to get hurt at work, but when an injury is job-related, there are benefits available that could make recovering easier. Workers’ compensation pays for an injured worker’s medical care and also offers a weekly indemnity payment based on two-thirds of the worker’s average wage.
The system can be complicated and sometimes tricky to navigate, however, especially if you have not filed a claim before. Fortunately, a skilled attorney could explain how to apply for workers’ compensation in Tucker and help you seek the benefits you need.
Qualifying for Benefits
All employers with three or more employees, including part-time workers, must provide workers’ compensation insurance. The insurance takes effect on an employee’s first day of work. The employee does not need to opt in; their participation is automatic. Workers can verify their employer’s participation in the program at http://www.sbwc.georgia.gov.
The program covers all work-related injuries, whether or not they resulted from the performance of the worker’s job duties. For example, if something fell on an employee while they were drinking at the water fountain, the injury should qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
When an employee gets hurt, they should seek medical care right away. A failure to get immediate medical treatment could create a question about whether the injury occurred at work. Injured employees should also inform their supervisor about their injury as soon as it occurs. Workers’ compensation rules allow an injured employee 30 days to report an accident, but delay could lead an employer to dispute whether the injury is work-related.
The workers’ compensation program pays for all of an employee’s medical care related to the injury, including prescription medications, copayments, and professional fees. However, workers cannot select any physician they choose. The employer will either give the employee a list of at least six approved healthcare providers to choose from or provide information about a Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization. The worker must get treatment from an employer-approved provider.
However, injured employees have options if they believe they are not receiving appropriate care. An attorney could advocate for a worker to see a different doctor if they are unhappy with their employer-approved provider.
Making a Claim
If an employer believes that an injury was not work-related, that the employee is faking the injury, or that the employee should be recovered enough to return to work, they could deny the employee their benefits. Any employee whose workers’ compensation application is denied should consult with an attorney in Tucker immediately.
An employee must file a claim form within one year of their injury to protect their rights to benefits. If the employee has filed the form and the employer denies benefits, the worker could request a hearing. At the hearing, a judge will listen to evidence from the employee and the employer and make a decision about the benefits the injured worker should receive.
When a worker dies on the job or due to an employment-related illness or injury, their family is entitled to death benefits according to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §34-9-265. If no dependents survive the worker, the benefits are limited to $7500 for burial expenses.
A deceased worker’s legal children could be eligible for weekly payments amounting to two-thirds of the employee’s average wage until their 18th birthday, or their 22nd birthday if they go to college. Legally married spouses could receive this benefit until they reach age 65. Dependents who were solely or partially dependent on the worker’s salary also might collect workers’ compensation death benefits. A compassionate Tucker attorney could help a family determine how to apply for workers’ compensation death benefits and how much they might receive.
Let a Tucker Attorney Help You Apply for Workers’ Compensation
After a work-related accident, it could be helpful to have a knowledgeable Tucker attorney explain how to apply for workers’ compensation benefits and guide you through the process. Experienced lawyers know the program’s pitfalls and can steer you clear of the obstacles that might prevent you from receiving your full benefits.
The sooner you reach out for help, the less chance you might make an error that endangers your benefits. Schedule a case review today.