For employees who are injured on the job, one of the most common ways to pay for your medical bills and other daily expenses is through workers’ compensation. This state-based program provides insurance payments to employees who are injured and unable to perform their usual job duties. The workers’ compensation process, however, is much more complicated than it may appear. Work injuries, coupled with administrative paperwork and strict regulations, may leave some employees wondering if they should return to work or seek another job altogether.
In Georgia, there are typically three types of workers’ compensation categories: 1) temporary total disability, 2) temporary partial disability, and 3) permanent partial disability.
Temporary Total Disability
Temporary Total Disability is an injury that does not result in a permanent disability but prevents the employee from being able to perform his or her usual duties. If your doctor determines that you are not physically capable of performing a job, then you could jeopardize your workers’ compensation payments if you try to take on a second job or begin a new job. Some employers’ mindset is that if you are physically capable of working a second job, then you are capable of finding employment somewhere else.
Temporary Partial Disability
A Temporary Partial Disability is when an injured employee cannot perform his or her typical job requirements but can physically work at a reduced level. This is also known as light duty. If a doctor releases an employee for light duty, the employer will likely expect the employee to return to work for a modified or alternative position. Workers’ Compensation for a Temporary Partial Disability is based on the difference between the two earning levels. If an employee returns to light duty work or takes a new job altogether, he or she will be required to report any income earned while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. When an employee’s wages are equal to or greater than what they were earning prior to the injury, that is when the workers’ compensation benefits typically end.
Permanent Partial Disability
Permanent Partial Disability is when an employee has a workplace-related injury from which he or she will not recover. In this situation, the injured employee may receive a lump sum settlement for their injuries, or a specific amount of workers’ compensation payments stretched over a certain time frame. If the employee wants to find a new job, and that job falls within the physical work restrictions set by the doctor, then the employee can return to work. Under Georgia law, an employee who sustains a catastrophic injury is entitled to help to obtain a new job or to learn a new job skill.
Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you were injured on the job and are eager to return to work, it is best to settle your workers’ compensation case before starting a new job. However, those with a Temporary Partial Disability or a Permanent Partial Disability can seek a new job while still receiving workers’ compensation benefits. If you need help with your workers’ compensation case, contact the Law Offices of Laura Lanzisera. We focus solely on Georgia workers’ compensation cases, and we offer free consultations.