Employment Discrimination Blog

Friday, January 28, 2022

Who is Eligible for Lifetime Income Benefits Under Georgia Workers’ Compensation?

When someone suffers a workplace injury, it can greatly impact his or her life. Whether the employee’s injuries are physical and/or emotional, they are likely accompanied with financial distress. Workers’ benefits help to alleviate the financial strain on those who are injured in the workplace. When a worker is approved for Workers’ Compensation, they will receive weekly benefits until either their medical condition improves or when 400 weeks from the date of the injury have passed. But what about catastrophic injuries that prevent the worker from recovering or going back to work in any capacity?

Under Georgia’s state workers’ compensation laws, those employees who suffer a catastrophic injury are an exception. They may receive income benefits for a lifetime. But in order to do so, they must be able to provide medical evidence that supports their claim, which must be approved.

What is a Catastrophic Injury?

Under the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation, an injury is considered to be catastrophic if it prevents the employee from being able to perform their job or another job “within the national economy.” Those employees whose injuries require constant supervision or those who cannot go back to work in any capacity will be permanently impacted and commonly financially strapped – as may be their family. Examples of catastrophic injuries include:

  • Spinal cord injuries that result in paralysis
  • Loss of a hand, arm, or limb
  • Traumatic brain (or head) injury
  • Severe burns covering more than 25% of the body
  • Burn injuries covering 5% of the hands or face

Calculating Lifetime Income Benefits

Georgia workers’ compensation law includes what it refers to as temporary total disability (TTD). Employees who suffer a catastrophic injury in the workplace can apply for lifetime compensation. They will receive the TTD until they can demonstrate a “change in condition for the better.” There is no limit to the TTD income benefits that someone can receive for the rest of their life.

Employers are also obligated to provide rehabilitation services now and in the future for those who have been injured on the job. For those with catastrophic injuries this also includes eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services and benefits.

In order to recover TTD, the employee may be required to show medical evidence of their catastrophic injury as well as proof that they are unable to work. The employer may either pay a lump sum or weekly benefits for a lifetime.

The GA Employment Law Attorneys at Pankey & Horlock, LLC Can Help

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. It’s important that you understand your rights and how you can apply for benefits to best set yourself up for approval.

Fortunately, the attorneys at Pankey & Horlock, LLC can help you to make sure your application is complete and comprehensive. At Pankey & Horlock, LLC, our attorneys understand the importance of workers’ compensation and are here to help. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!

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The attorneys of Pankey & Horlock, LLC serve the entire state of Georgia, including Atlanta, Alpharetta, Auburn, Decatur, Doraville, Douglasville, Duluth, Kennesaw, Lawrenceville, Marietta, Stone Mountain, Dekalb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, and Cobb County, GA.

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