What You Need to Know About Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Laws
Georgia requires employers to carry worker’s compensation insurance. Here’s what you need to know about Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws.
Georgia workers’ compensation is insurance employers buy to protect employees against expenses due to injury on the job. These expenses include medical bills, lost wages, and any other costs that result from the employee’s injury.
Worker’s Compensation Requirements in Georgia
Georgia requires every employer with three or more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This requirement can include three part-time workers.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover in Georgia?
Workers’ compensation insurance covers expenses that result from a job-related injury. The insurance covers all authorized medical treatment for the injury, including:
- Hospital bills
- Doctors’ bills
- Physical therapy
An employee must receive treatment from an authorized doctor for their work-related injury. Employers must provide easily-accessible lists of authorized doctors.
Workers’ compensation insurance will cover medical expenses for a maximum of 400 weeks. If the injury is catastrophic, an employee may receive lifelong insurance for medical expenses.
Workers’ compensation will also cover lost wages during an employee’s time off work due to a work-related injury.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Georgia
A worker receives workers’ compensation benefits if they are out of work for more than seven days.
Workers’ compensation benefits are two-thirds of the employee’s weekly wage for a maximum of $725 per week.
An employee will receive benefits for a maximum of 400 weeks. If the injury was catastrophic, the employer might receive unlimited benefits.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Georgia
To file a claim, employees must file a form WC-14. The form is available on the State Board of Workers’ Compensation website. Employees must file a claim within one year of the work-related injury.
If the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance refuses benefits or the employee believes the benefits are not high enough, the employee may request the State Board of Workers’ Compensation to hear the case. In this hearing, the Board determines what, if any, benefits an employee may receive.
This hearing will occur within 60 days of the employee filing the complaint.
Penalties for Failure to Comply with Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Georgia
If an employer purposefully fails to comply with workers’ compensation requirements, they may face criminal prosecution and a maximum sentence of 12 months. A criminal conviction can also carry fines between $1,000 and $10,000 for each violation.
Related: Tipped Employee Rights in Georgia
An employer may also face civil penalties for failure to comply with workers’ compensation requirements. These penalties can range from $100 to $1,000 for each violation of requirements.
FAQs About Georgia Workers’ Compensation Laws
Does Georgia require all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance?
Georgia requires all employers with three or more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This can include three regular part-time employees.
What does workers’ compensation cover in Georgia?
Workers’ compensation in Georgia covers medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses resulting from a job-related injury.
How long does workers’ compensation cover an employee in Georgia?
Workers’ compensation will continue to provide benefits to an injured employee for a maximum of 400 weeks. If a doctor determines the employee is able to return to work, the benefits will end or decrease at that time.
What are the penalties if an employer does not follow workers’ compensation requirements in Georgia?
If an employer knowingly fails to follow workers’ compensation requirements in Georgia, they can face criminal and civil penalties for each violation. Criminal penalties can include a maximum of 12 months in prison and fines between $1,000 and $10,000 per violation. Civil penalties can include fines between $100 and $1,000 for each violation.