New Changes To Georgia Workers’ Compensation Laws Increase Income Benefits While Adding Limitations To Medical Benefits

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The Pope Law Firm of Atlanta, Georgia provides the public with a brief overview of recent changes to the workers’ compensation laws in Georgia which where recently enacted by the Georgia State Legislature and, effective July 1, 2013, place new restrictions on injured workers and the length of time they are allowed to receive medical treatment.

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This bill raises the maximum weekly benefits allowed for injured workers but limits the time an injured worker may receive medical benefits.

The Pope Law Firm of Atlanta, Georgia represents those injured at work anywhere in the state of Georgia. The firm works hard to obtain medical treatment for injured workers and helps their clients avoid the financial difficulty that comes with being out of work while recovering from an on-the-job injury. In that regard, the Pope Law Firm would like to provide the public with a brief overview of some recent changes enacted by the Georgia State Legislature that alter the workers’ compensation system in Georgia.

On May 6, 2013, Governor Deal signed a bill, which took effect on July 1, 2013. This bill raises the maximum weekly benefits allowed for injured workers but limits the time an injured worker may receive medical benefits.

In terms of the restrictive changes, injured workers who are hurt on or after July 1, 2013 and are not deemed to have suffered an injury that is “catastrophic” will have his or her medical benefits limited to a period of 400 weeks. Under the old law, the state recognized that an injured worker might need medical attention for a very long time, perhaps his entire life, especially with certain serious injuries. However, beginning July 1, 2013, if the injury is not deemed catastrophic, as defined by the statutes, then there is a time frame set for an injured workers’ medical recovery. The change in the law only affects workers injured on or after July 1, 2013. If a worker was injured before the July 1, 2013 change in the law, he or she may still receive medical benefits for life.

There are also aspects of the new law that may help injured workers. Effective July 1, 2013, the maximum weekly benefit for those who are classified as suffering from temporary total disability (TTD) increased from $500 to $525 per week. Similarly, the maximum weekly benefit for those who are classified as suffering from temporary partial disability (TPD) increased to $350 per week, up from $334. While limitations to weekly income may seem somewhat arbitrary, an increase to those limits will obviously be a welcome relief to many injured workers who earn far more than the law deems the maximum allowed. Unfortunately, if a worker was injured before July 1, 2013, he or she is still bound by the statutory maximum weekly benefit that existed at the time of the accident.

Workers in Georgia should to be aware of these recent changes to the workers’ compensation laws, and if injured on the job, they should seek the help of an experienced Georgia workers’ compensation lawyer, like those at The Pope Law Firm.

About The Pope Law Firm

Gregory Pope founded The Pope Law Firm, P.C. in 2000, after leaving a large insurance defense firm in Atlanta, to begin his practice in the area of civil litigation, focusing on workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. During that time, Greg Pope served as a Magistrate Court Judge for six years and developed the reputation for providing the highest level of legal representation to injured workers in Atlanta and surrounding areas.

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