Permanent Disability in Georgia
Permanent disability benefits make up for a portion of the wages you lose when you suffer a job-related illness or injury.
You should be eligible for this type of workers’ compensation benefit in Georgia if you cannot return to gainful employment. If you are a worker in Macon or elsewhere in Middle Georgia who has never applied for these benefits before, or if you are having problems with your claim, the Mann Law Firm wants you to know the following:
What Do Permanent Disability Benefits Provide?
If an authorized physician treating you for a work-related injury or illness determines that you cannot return to work, you are eligible to receive temporary total disability benefits for as long as you are disabled.
If you can go back to work, you can receive benefits called permanent partial disability benefits. These benefits are based on a permanent disability rating assigned to you by your physician.
The period in which you will receive these benefits will depend on the body part affected. For instance, you may receive 20 weeks’ worth of payments for the loss of any toe other than your big toe. You could receive benefits for 225 weeks for the loss of an arm or leg or 300 weeks for a disability to your body as a whole.
If an employee loses both arms, hands, legs or feet, or any two or more other body parts, or vision in both eyes, this is considered a permanent total disability. It warrants a benefit to be paid up to 400 weeks.
How Do I Apply for Permanent Disability Benefits?
Technically, you do not apply for workers’ compensation disability benefits. You report your injury to your employer, and your employer files an insurance claim.
After a workplace injury or illness is reported to your employer, you must see a physician that you can choose from a list of physicians authorized by your employer.
Based on the report from the authorized treating physician, your employer will file a workers’ compensation claim through its insurance carrier.
Your employer (if self-insured) or its insurer should notify the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Board about your status. You should receive a copy of this report.
If the physician determines you have suffered a permanent disability, the report will state the amount of disability to the particular body part injured or to your whole body.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me Obtain Permanent Disability Benefits?
An employer may contend that an employee’s permanent disability is not work-related. For instance, if your permanent disability is hearing loss, your employer may argue that it was caused by a pre-existing condition and not by a job-related accident or by work conditions. An employee or an employer may also challenge a disability rating.
An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will protect your rights if your permanent disability claim has been denied or if you wish to challenge the amount awarded to you.
For instance, Mann Law Firm can represent you in a hearing before an administrative law judge or in an appeal. We can stand by your side and fight for the benefits you rightfully deserve.
If you would like to receive a free consultation about your case, please contact us today.