Georgia Workers’ Compensation Bill of Rights

I read that the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Bill of Rights spells out what an employee must do, and what a worker will receive when they are eligible for unemployment benefits. The law provides an employee coverage for a work -related injury even if an injury occurs on the first day on the job.

The employee has the following rights:

  1. If injured on the job, employees may receive medical, rehabilitation and income benefits. Their dependents may also receive benefits if they die as a result of a job-related injury.
  2. The employer is required to post a list of at least six doctors or the name of certified medical providers. The employee may choose a doctor from the list and make one change to another doctor on the list without employer permission
  3. Authorized doctor, hospital, rehabilitation, and prescriptions bills will be paid if injury was caused by an accident on the job.
  4. A worker is entitled to weekly income benefits if they miss more than seven days of work due to an injury.
  5. Accidents are classified as being either catastrophic or non-catastrophic. In catastrophic cases, employees are entitled to receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage for as long as they can’t work. In non-catastrophic cases, an employee is entitled to receive two-thirds of their average weekly pay for up to 400 weeks.
  6. When a worker is able to return to work but can only get a lower paying job as a result of injury, they are entitled to a weekly benefit making up the difference in pay.
  7. In the event an employee dies as a result of an on-the-job accident, their dependents will receive burial expenses and two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage
  8. If a worker does not receive benefits when due, the insurance carrier/employer must pay a penalty which will be added to the worker’s payments.

I know from reading the rights that an employee must:

  1. Follow written rules of safety and other reasonable policies and procedures of the employer.
  2. Report any accident immediately, but not later than 30 days after the accident, to their employer.
  3. Accept reasonable medical treatment and rehabilitation services.
  4. Work with the insurance carrier to make sure all documents are up-to-date.
  5. Attempt a job approved by the authorized treating physician even if the pay is lower than the previously-held job.
  6. File a claim within one year if they believe their compensation is unfair.
  7. Submit to a drug test following an on-the-job injury. If a worker refuses, there may be a determination that the accident and injury were caused by alcohol or drugs.

I understand that an employee who makes false claims will be fined up to $10,000 or imprisoned for up to 12 months, or both. Employers must post these rights in a public place in their business. These rights are included on the Georgia Complete Labor Law poster. See the Georgia Worker’s Compensation Bill of Rights poster here.

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