From repetitive stress injuries that develop gradually to catastrophic accidents that happen suddenly, workers in many different industries may find themselves risking their health or even their life while on the job.
In Georgia, most companies with at least three employees must provide workers’ compensation coverage for their staff members. In addition to helping employees replace lost wages during their recovery, workers’ comp insurance may pay for medical expenses and provide assistance with returning to the workforce.
1. Wage replacement
If an injury or illness prevents an employee from returning to his or her full position for more than seven days, he or she may be eligible for wage-replacement benefits. While each case is different, workers may receive payments of up to two-thirds of their average weekly wages.
2. Medical care
After approving a workers’ comp claim, the employer’s insurance company should cover medical bills related to the injury or illness. However, the injured worker must visit a company-approved doctor.
In addition to emergency room care, medical benefits may include physical therapy, diagnostic testing, prescription medications, in-home nursing, prosthetic devices and other treatments considered necessary for recovery.
In some cases, workers may also be able to receive reimbursement for the cost of traveling to and from medical providers or pharmacies.
3. Job assistance
When an injury prevents a worker from returning to his or her original position, he or she may also be able to get help with rejoining the workforce. Vocational benefits may include assistance with resumes, job searches and interview skills as well as on-the-job training or payments for job-related education.