When an employee gets injured at work, workers’ comp provides financial compensation for medical treatment, disability, lost wages, and other related expenses.
Workers’ compensation is required for most businesses in Georgia. Keep reading to learn more about the specific requirements in Georgia and how Hourly makes workers’ comp easier and more affordable.
All Georgia businesses with three or more employees are required to have workers’ compensation, according to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
That includes full-time employees, part-time employees, and corporate officers, though corporate officers can waive their workers’ compensation coverage if they choose.
Workers’ comp is not required for:
Under Georgia workers’ compensation law, if you fail to provide workers’ comp coverage, you can be charged with a misdemeanor and face fines of $500 to $10,000 and/or up to 12 months of jail time.
Georgia business owners must offer certain benefits as part of their workers’ comp insurance, including reimbursement for things like medical bills, physical therapy, lost wages, and disability due to on-the-job injury. Specifically, these include:
In Georgia, workers’ comp covers just about any work-related injury or illness, including:
Along with covering the cost of medical treatment for these injuries and illnesses, workers’ comp may also pay the employee for lost wages if they are forced to take time off work. Employees may also receive disability benefits for an accident that results in short or long-term disability.
Receiving workers’ comp benefits in Georgia is a time-sensitive process. Injured workers must report the incident within 30 days of the date of injury. The employer then files a form with the insurance carrier so the injured employee can receive compensation for medical care, lost wages, disability, and other qualifying expenses.
While most personal injury cases have a two-year limit to file a claim, Georgia workers’ comp claims must be filed within one year of the workplace injury. If you need to file a claim, you can visit the State Board of Workers’ Compensation website to download and fill out Form WC-14, or you can give them a call and have the form sent to you. If you’re based in Atlanta, dial (404) 656-3818; if outside of Atlanta, dial 1-800-533-0682.
If an employee is unable to work, they can receive a weekly check of up to two-thirds of their average weekly wage, up to $725 per week. If they can return to work but have to take a lower paying job due to a work injury or illness, they can receive a reduced benefit of up to $483 per week, for a maximum of 350 weeks.
The going and coming rule states that employees who drive to and from work will not receive workers’ compensation for any accidents that occur during their commute. While driving to and from work may put employees at risk, employers cannot be held responsible for any injuries sustained on the road. Thus, employees who get into car or vehicle accidents won’t receive compensation for related medical expenses, disability, and lost wages.
An employee who is unable to work for more than 7 days is entitled to weekly income benefits and will receive their first check within 21 days of their first missed day. Workers may continue to receive benefits for up to 400 weeks unless they have a catastrophic injury, which can qualify them for lifelong benefits.
If a work-related injury results in death, the workers’ dependents (children, spouse, and dependent stepchildren) may be entitled to death benefits of up to $725 per week. A surviving spouse without children may receive up to $290,000.
Protect your employees with great workers’ compensation benefits at a more affordable cost than ever. Hourly works with your insurance agent to bring you great workers’ compensation rates based on your actual payroll amounts, with pay-as-you-go pricing for better cash flow.
Get the latest news from Hourly and helpful tips to run your business