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What is my Weekly Benefit Amount?


THE FACTS

  • If you’re accepted, you will receive a weekly payment equal to 2/3 of your weekly wage. Max $500 per week.
  • You can receive wages for up to 400 weeks (7.5 years).
  • If it’s deemed “catastrophic”, there is no limit on the cap on how long you can receive benefits.
  • The purpose of weekly wage benefits is to compensate you for your temporary economic loss – thus these benefits are known as “temporary total disability” or TTD benefits.
  • I always double check the assumptions that the insurance company makes when calculating your average weekly wage and your weekly wage check.

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THE DETAILS

If the insurance company accepts your claim, you will receive a weekly payment equal to two-thirds (2/3) of your average weekly wage with a maximum of $500 per week.    You can continue to receive weekly wage benefits for a maximum of 400 weeks (which is about seven and one half years) unless your injury is deemed “catastrophic,” in which case there is no 400 week cap.

The $500 per week cap became effective for work injuries that occurred after July 1, 2007.  If your injury happened prior to July 1, 2007, the weekly cap will be different.  At some point in the future, the Georgia legislature will most likely change the maximum weekly benefit amount but for right now if you are injured on the job the most you can collect is $500 per week.  If Georgia Increases the Maximum Comp Rate, Do I Get the Benefit of the Increase?” If the rate changes, however, you will not get the new rate.

The purpose of weekly wage benefits is to compensate you for your temporary economic loss – thus these benefits are known as “temporary total disability” or TTD benefits.   When I settle a case, one of the factors that comes into play is the number of weeks remaining in your eligibility for TTD benefits.

How Does the State Board Calculate Your “Average Weekly Wage?”

In most cases it is fairly easy to calculate your “average weekly wage.”  Your employer provides the insurance company with payroll information about your before tax (gross) earnings over the 13 weeks prior to your injury, a claims rep puts this information into a computer program and your average weekly wage for workers’ compensation purposes is calculated.

The Georgia Code sets out how your average weekly wage is calculated and in my experience, there are only occasional disputes about this number.

Where the average weekly wage calculation may be disputed are cases where my client worked on commission, or recently changed from part time to full time.

The Official Code of Georgia sets out very specific rules about how to deal with commissioned workers, new employees and employees with irregular work schedules.  The State Board and Georgia appeals courts have also addressed these issues.  As your attorney, I always double check the assumptions that the insurance company makes when calculating your average weekly wage and your weekly wage check.  If I believe that your weekly payment is too low, I can request a hearing before a judge to resolve this issue.

 

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