If I’m an injured worker on workers’ compensation disability benefits, when will my payments run out?

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Wondering how long workers’ comp benefits last in Georgia? If your workers’ comp claim has been accepted, you’re getting disability payments while being treated by a workers’ comp doctor and you can’t work, the maximum amount of time you can receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits is 400 weeks (about 7.5 years), unless your claim is deemed to be “catastrophic,” meaning you are unlikely to ever work again.

How long can I receive workers’ comp while on light duty?

Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits are paid if you’re on light duty restrictions from your authorized treating physician (ATP) and are working light duty at a lower wage than what you made before your workplace injury. The longest you can be on TPD benefits is 350 weeks.

If your employer cannot (or will not) offer light duty, but you are on light duty restrictions from your treating doctor, the workers’ comp insurance adjuster may file a WC-104 (Notice to Employee of Medical Release to Return to Work with Restrictions) to drop your benefits to a 350-week cap if you’re on light duty restrictions but aren’t working for 52 straight weeks or 72 aggregate weeks.

Does workers’ comp ever pay for life?

If you have a permanent and total disability, you could continue to receive weekly payments for life. Once TTD stops after 400 weeks, if the doctors have determined your disability is never going to end, and the insurer has agreed (or an Administrative Law Judge has determined) that you are “catastrophic,” TTD will keep getting paid past its normal stopping point of 400 weeks. For such to occur, your condition must be severe, and you will receive an amount equal to the rate of your temporary total disability benefits for life. Medical benefits continue for life, too, if you’re deemed catastrophically injured (instead of stopping at 400 weeks from the date of injury).

Will my workers’ comp continue if I’m fired?

Although your Georgia employer cannot fire you for filing a workers’ comp claim, they can fire you for any other reason while you are receiving workers’ comp benefits. In many cases, you can continue your receiving workers’ comp without being required to look for work. Note that you cannot get unemployment benefits at the same time that you are receiving workers’ comp temporary total disability (TTD) benefits.  But if the workers’ comp insurance company is fighting paying your workers’ comp benefits, you may be able to file for and receive unemployment benefits while you are waiting to go to court.

Seem confusing? It can be to a novice, but feel free to contact our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys and we will be glad to assist you!



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