Workers’ compensation benefits help injured or ill employees. However, despite having these benefits, many workers aren’t keen to use them.
This often happens because people have too many questions about the benefits. Here are some of the most common questions people have:
1. What are the benefits of workers’ comp?
Workers’ comp is often used to pay medical bills and lost wages to workers after an injury or sickness. It may even pay survivors if an injury or illness leads to death.
2. When should you file a workers’ comp claim?
Georgia’s statute of limitations gives workers one year to file a claim. However, you should file as soon as you can after an injury or illness. Important: Even if your employer sends you for medical treatment, you still need to file a claim in Georgia on a form called a WC-14 to protect your rights. Your employer will NOT do that for you. And the claim form (WC-14) needs to be filed within ONE YEAR of when you were injured, or within ONE YEAR of when you had to stop working due to the injury, or within ONE YEAR of when you last received medical treatment that your employer paid for. Whichever is the latest date.
3. What if the injury wasn’t your fault?
Workers’ comp is a no-fault system. In other words, you, a co-worker or employer could have caused the injury to and you can still receive benefits.
4. Can a workers’ comp claim be denied?
It’s always possible for a workers’ comp claim to be denied. However, many of the reasons a claim is denied are for minor mistakes, such as not having enough paperwork. Having clear documentation of a work accident and the related medical records can help you claim benefits. Important: A lot of claims are denied due to not reporting the injury TIMELY. As soon as you think you have been injured at work, report it to someone in management and/or human resources. And request medical treatment. Do NOT wait until you have been terminated by your employer to report a work injury. The employer will likely think you are retaliating for your termination, and will likely deny your claim.
5. Do you need legal help?
While it is possible to file a workers’ comp claim by yourself, these claims are difficult when people don’t know their legal options. You may need to consider reaching out for legal help when filing a workers’ comp claim.