New Laws for Worker’s Comp (Survival Kit)
2016-2017 Changes to Georgia’s Workers’ Comp. Laws
− Jodi Brenner Ginsberg, Georgia Attorney at Law
Every year the Georgia legislature considers a variety of proposed laws which may impact workers’ compensation.
This year, several bills passed the Georgia House and Senate and were signed by Governor Deal:
TTD maximum increases to $575 per week. If you were injured on July 1, 2016 or after, your maximum temporary total disability payment amount increases from $550 per week to $575 per week. The formula for calculating TTD benefits remains the same – you are entitled to 2/3 of your average weekly wage with a maximum benefit payment which is now $575 per week.
Mileage payments must be made faster. When we submit documentation to recover mileage reimbursement (for travel to and from the doctor, a deposition or other approved reason), the insurance company must reimburse you within 15 days of submission date. Previously they could wait up to 30 days to send the reimbursement. If the mileage check is late, then you will be owed a penalty.
WC-240 return to work procedure changed. If you attempt to return to work under a WC-240, you must attempt to work for at least 8 hours to be considered a reasonable work attempt [1. I strongly suggest that you not return to work without a WC-20 form. The WC-20 is completed by your doctor and sets out your work activity limitations. I continue to encourage my clients to make their work attempt for as long as possible within the limits of their pain to show good faith if the case does end up in front of a judge.
Medical care now limited to 400 weeks. As of July 1, 2013 injuries, the insurance company is obligated to pay for medical care up to 400 weeks (which is more than 7 years). Only if your case is deemed catastrophic will the 400 week medical benefit cap not apply [2. I have long argued that timing is one of the most important factors in maximizing your settlement. This change – limiting the insurance company’s obligation to pay for medical treatment makes it even more crucial that we understand and calculate the insurance company’s possible exposure properly.
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