Under Georgia law your employer and their insurance company are allowed 21 days to investigate your case and decide if they are going to accept your claim. So in most cases you will not see any money for 3 weeks.
Weekly income benefits in Georgia workers’ compensation law are called TTD benefits. TTD stands for “temporary total disability.” Your TTD payment will equal two-thirds of your average weekly wage, with a maximum under the law of $575 per week (for 2017 injuries).
If your claim is accepted, you will get your first TTD check no later than 21 days after the first day you missed work. That first check will not pay you for your first week of missed work – you will only get paid for the 2nd and 3rd week of missed time.
If you miss 21 consecutive days in a row, the insurance company has to pay you for week one of missed work.
Not only do you have to miss work to recover TTD benefits but you will need a “no work status” letter from an authorized workers’ compensation doctor. You can also get TTD benefits if the authorized doctor puts you on light work status but your employer does not have a light duty job available.
If your employer and their insurer conduct an investigation and decide that they are going to challenge your claim, they will file a notice of controvertion. If your claim is controverted, you will not get any TTD benefits until the insurance company backs down or until a judge orders the insurer to start making payments.
If the insurance company is late in making payment, they will owe you a financial penalty which will be added to your TTD check.
Mistakes to Avoid
As you can see from the above summary of the rules regarding the initiation of TTD payments, there are a lot of moving parts. Insurance companies are often late in sending out payments, authorized doctors (from the posted panel of physicians) are chosen by the employer and are often not sympathetic to injured workers and there can even be disputes about how much you should be getting.
Insurance companies and employers put a lot of pressure on authorized doctors to limit your no work status and issue return to work letters. One of the biggest areas of dispute in workers’ comp. law arises from questions about whether an injured claimant should be released to full or light duty work. Our clients also find that so-called light duty work really isn’t so light after all.
Unfortunately you cannot assume that your employer’s insurance company will do what they are supposed to do, or that they will treat you fairly at all.
If you would like to speak with attorney Jodi Ginsberg about your case, we invite you to call or email. All communication with the lawyer is confidential and there is no cost or obligation when you call. Jodi can be reached at 770-351-0801.