Suffering from a work-related injury or illness can take a significant financial toll on a person. Workers’ compensation is there to ease this burden. Employees can expect to receive benefits for medical coverage, ongoing medical care, lost wages, permanent disability, and funeral costs.
Workers’ compensation insurance covers the medical expenses of a wide range of work-related injuries or illnesses. However, to benefit from such compensation, there must be a clear link between the injury and your job. Below are just some of the services covered.
- Emergency room visits
- Doctor’s visits
- Prescription medication
- Medical tests and exams
- Rehabilitation treatment
What Medical Costs Might not Be Covered
You may count on most standard medical procedures and treatments to be covered, but the benefits typically stop there. If you want to rely on alternative medicine (e.g. acupuncture) or experimental drugs, you must know that these will most likely not be accepted by the insurance provider. Therefore, before you commit, make sure that you can cover the costs yourself.
What is more, depending on your physical condition, there might be a limit on the number of covered interventions. This applies to such treatments as chiropractic treatment and physical therapy. However, you might be able to extend the approved number of sessions based on a physician’s recommendation.
In cases like this, you can expect the employer or the insurance company to request an additional consultation from an independent medical examiner. They are to determine if further sessions would have a significant positive impact on your health.
Ongoing Medical Care
Often, one visit to a doctor is not enough. Some work-related injuries and illnesses may require a lengthy recovery time and ongoing medical care. This means piling bills for the employee. Workers’ compensation can cover these expenses as well. For example, physical therapy needed to regain proper mobility in a limb is a service for which you can get reimbursed.
Injured or ill employees often miss work hours on account of their condition. This includes the time surrounding the immediate time of an accident but also the treatment and recovery process. To acquire this benefit, you must have a doctor’s approval of your inability to work.
Time-loss benefits are governed by a lot of rules. These may also change between states. If you have any uncertainties regarding specific regulations in Georgia, get in touch with an Atlanta workers compensation attorney.
Permanent Disability Benefits
A workers’ compensation doctor can determine whether or not you qualify for permanent disability benefits. This is established based on the concept of maximum medical improvement (MMI). If you reach this point, it means that your condition cannot improve any further. Then, you will undergo a consultation to determine any permanent physical restriction. If such limitations are noticed, a disability rating will be assigned to quantify the level of impairment.
Benefits for loss of wage-earning capacity are awarded to employees who have suffered a permanent partial disability resulting from a work-related injury. The decision for the percentage of the lost earning capacity belongs to the Workers’ Compensation Board. These benefits can apply to a wide range of conditions.
- Injuries to the head, spine, and cardiac system
- Injuries to extremities like hands, feet, arms, and legs that involve severe nerve damage
- Psychiatric disability
Depending on the severity of the condition, the benefit may be awarded for anywhere between four and ten years. However, if the disability is deemed permanent, the victim may receive financial support for the rest of their life.
If a work-related injury leads to an employee’s death, the surviving relatives can expect to receive financial support for funeral costs. This is an essential type of workers’ compensation benefit that may add up to $7,500 under Georgia state law.
Besides, surviving relatives may also receive income replacement benefits. These come as weekly payments that amount to two-thirds of the deceased employee’s salary. For Georgia, this may go as high as $675.
Contact a Lawyer
If you encounter any setbacks in receiving the benefits you deserve, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer. Set up an initial consultation to discuss your case and see what path they recommend for you. Many firms offer the first visit for free as an extra incentive. Look for an attorney with experience in workers’ compensation to ensure that you get the most out of their legal services.