An injured worker that loses time from work must be compensated by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. In our practice of handling occupational injuries, we see a great deal of confusion as to the amount of workers’ compensation benefits due to the injured employee. This issue, however, is governed by Georgia law.
A worker that is completely disabled from a job injury is usually entitled to two-thirds (2/3) of his or her weekly salary. The salary is determined by taking an average of the thirteen (13) weeks of pay before the injury. This figure is known as the average weekly wage. The weekly compensation rate is two-thirds (2/3) of the average weekly wage. Fortunately, this weekly workers’ compensation check is tax free.
For work injuries occurring as of July 1, 2013, the maximum a disabled worker may receive per week is $525.00 regardless of the average weekly wage. In addition, the minimum an injured disabled worker can draw per week is $50.00.
There are a number of other workers’ compensation benefits available to an injured employee. For example, a partially disabled worker that is earning less due to an injury is also entitled to a supplement check from the workers’ compensation insurance company. The supplement amount is based on the average weekly wage as compared to the reduced earnings.
Any employee earning less income because of a work-related injury should consult counsel experienced in workers’ compensation law to determine his or her rights. It is common to see the insurance company paying the wrong amount of benefits.