With all of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, injured workers are likely asking something more concrete: “Will I still receive my weekly compensation?” It can be scary, considering the financial upheaval we’re already seeing in the U.S. economy, to imagine going without crucial payments, or having to forgo necessary medical treatment.
Because this is a situation unlike any that we’ve ever seen before, the State Board of Workers’ Compensation is continuously adjusting its response. Here’s where we stand currently:
Will my weekly workers’ compensation checks still come?
Yes. The State Board of Workers’ Compensation is still operating. Some aspects of the workers’ comp process will be delayed by the state judicial emergency (more on that below), but the Board has determined that certain business is essential, including the payment of weekly benefits. The Board will also continue to handle settlements, Petitions for Medical Treatment and motions, as well as any emergencies that may arise.
Will my hearing be delayed?
If your hearing was scheduled for April or early May, then yes. Currently, hearings scheduled through May 13 are postponed. This date has already been extended once and will likely continue to be adjusted until the threat subsides. It’s also important to note that the statewide judicial emergency, in addition to delaying hearings, also grants relief from deadlines, including the statute of limitations and the time limit on appeals.
Has my workers’ comp settlement mediation been cancelled?
All in-person mediations have been suspended for the time being. If you don’t want to delay your mediation, you may conduct it remotely.
Do I have to go to my doctor’s appointment that has been scheduled?
Yes. You should not delay any necessary medical treatment. However, you should talk to your provider about telemedicine appointments. During the crisis, the State Board of Workers’ Compensation encourages telemedicine appointments, including evaluations, physical therapy, occupational therapy and general medicine services.
How do I continue to get medication that I need?
It’s a good idea to make sure you have at least a 30-day supply of necessary medications on-hand. If possible, speak to your pharmacy or insurance company about filling 90-day supplies instead. To limit your exposure to the virus, consider receiving your prescriptions by mail order or delivery. If you’re unwell or high risk, you may authorize a family member or friend to pick up the medicine for you.
We understand that this is a challenging time for anyone, especially if you’re trying to get the compensation you deserve. That’s why we’re continuing to work diligently for our clients.
Your Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you better understand the system, guide your conversations with the insurance company and ensure you have all the documentation you need to make a strong case. The Law Offices of Laura Lanzisera can explain Georgia’s workers’ compensation system and the benefits available for your injury or disability. Contact our office today for a free consultation.