Workers’ Compensation is an employer paid insurance program that covers workers who are injured on the job or develop an illness or disease because of their work. An example of a covered illness could include cancer or lung disease related to their employment. Any business having three or more employees must carry Workers’ Compensation insurance. Workers are covered from the day their employment begins.
In Georgia, most regular part time employees are covered by Workers’ Compensation. This includes part time employees who work only on weekends. Some seasonal employees may be covered. Domestic servants and some agricultural workers are excluded from coverage. Employees are covered even if the injury is due to their own carelessness or that of another employee. In addition to receiving medical and rehabilitative treatment, workers may receive weekly income benefits if they cannot work after seven days. Benefits are paid for specific disabilities including loss of vision, hearing, or an appendage. If an injury or illness results in the death of an employee, his dependents may receive death benefits. However, coverage can be denied if it is determined that a worker has violated a company policy.
So how does the process work? An injured employee should report the incident promptly to a supervisor or manager. Waiting too long to report an injury could result in a denial of benefits. Workers usually do not see their regular doctor. The employer must provide a listing of at least six health care providers from which the injured employee may choose. The insurance carrier will pay for approved treatment from these providers. Authorized medical expenses would typically include doctor and hospital bills, physical therapy, and prescribed medications. Travel expenses to receive treatment are also covered.
If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness and benefits were denied, an attorney specializing in Workers’ Compensation should be consulted. An attorney can help obtain records, file an appeal, and represent you at a benefits hearing.