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Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Georgia

Workers' Compensation Insurance in Georgia

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If your business has employees in the state of Georgia, you’ll need to make sure you adhere to Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance laws. Workers’ Compensation provides medical and financial benefits for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses or for their survivors in the case of an employee death.

Who needs Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Georgia?

Georgia requires all employers who regularly employ at least three employees to obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance. In Georgia, an “employee” is generally defined as someone who is in the service of an employer and is not an independent contractor.

The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA) defines all of the requirements for Workers’ Comp in Georgia, and the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC) monitors, enforces, and administers the program. Ensuring your company is in compliance is critical, as there are serious penalties and fines for those who fail to abide by state regulations.

What employees are covered under Workers’ Compensation in Georgia?

Almost all workers are covered under Workers’ Compensation in Georgia. If you provide work or services for an employer, you will likely be eligible for Workers’ Compensation Insurance.

The following are categories of employees that are eligible for Workers’ Comp coverage:

The following are categories of employees that are generally excluded from Workers’ Comp coverage:

What Workers’ Compensation benefits do employees receive?

Under Workers’ Compensation in Georgia, benefits will depend on many factors, including whether or not the injury an employee sustains is classified as “catastrophic” by the WCA. A catastrophic injury includes:

Employers in Georgia are required to provide the following benefits to employees who are injured in the course of employment:

Medical Benefits

Temporary Total Disability Benefits

Temporary Partial Disability Benefits

Permanent Partial Disability Benefits

Permanent Total Disability Benefits

Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

Death Benefits

What are the penalties for breaking Georgia Workers’ Compensation laws?

Failure to adhere to the Workers’ Compensation laws set out by the WCA can result in significant fines and even imprisonment. In order to avoid any costly penalties, it’s important to consult the WCA or your insurer to ensure you are in compliance. Below are the major ways in which companies can be penalized:

Failure to Purchase Coverage

Failure to Provide Proof of Coverage

Intentional Misrepresentation

Unfiled Injury Reports

How much does Workers’ Compensation Insurance cost in Georgia?

According to the National Academy of Social Insurance Workers’ Compensation Report (October 2019), the average employer cost for Workers’ Compensation in Georgia was $1.08 per $100 of covered wages. This figure is estimated across all insurers and all industries, so the cost to your particular business may vary.

How does the Workers’ Compensation claims process work in Georgia?

The claims process in Georgia begins with the employee. If an employee suffers a work-related injury or illness, he or she must immediately report the condition to the employer, either in-person or by written notice within 30 days of the accident or first day of disability. Any delays may result in a denial or reduction of a claim.

Employers must either deny a claim or accept a claim and begin paying benefits within 21 days of being notified of a workplace injury or illness. If a claim is denied, the employee can dispute the denial by filing a claim with the SBWC within one year of the injury. In the case of an employee death, his or her dependents can file a claim with the SBWC within one year of the death.

Georgia Workers’ Compensation Insurance Resources

For more information on Georgia Workers’ Compensation laws and requirements, please visit the following resources:

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