After mediating or otherwise settling a workers’ compensation claim, my clients frequently want to know when they’re going to get paid.
With the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s fairly recent switch to paperless filings through its ICMS system (Integrated Claims Management System), workers’ compensation claims in Atlanta and elsewhere in Georgia are getting approved quite quickly. Here’s a quick breakdown of the process of settling a workers’ comp claim in Georgia and getting paid:
1) the parties reach an agreement. Usually, this is a dollar figure, but it can include medical and other provisions that either side wishes to include in its bargained-for agreement.
2) the employer gets a copy. The defense attorney sends a copy to the employer.
3) the claimant and his/her attorney (if he/she is represented) gets a copy of the “stip” and will have several places to sign their names.
4) the stip is sent back to the defense attorney for signatures.
5) the stip is sent electronically to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation in Atlanta via ICMS.
6) the State Board approves the stip. These days, I’m seeing this occur in a day or two.
7) the employer and/or insurer have 20 days to pay.
8) if the employer/insurer does not pay within 20 days of the State Board’s approval, a penalty of 20% may be added (per O.C.G.A. 34-9-15).
If you’ve been injured at work in Georgia and would like some guidance on whether to accept a settlement offer from an insurance company, please contact Michael Moebes, Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer.