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How Long Does Workers’ Comp Last in Georgia?

Written by
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Victoria Muñoz
Lead Attorney
Published July 8, 2024
3 min read
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Getting injured while at work can add significant stress to your life, especially as you wonder how you’ll pay your bills during your recovery. Fortunately, Georgia’s workers’ compensation program provides some relief through wage replacement and free medical care to support you and your family while you’re out of work.

How long does workers’ comp last in Georgia?

There isn’t a magic number for how long Georgia workers’ comp lasts. You could receive payments for up to 400 weeks, or about 7.7 years, from the date of your injury. That said, most injured workers don’t receive benefits for that long.

How long your payments last depends on your type of injury, how severe it is, and your ability to return to work. You can expect your payments to continue until:

  • You recover and return to your regular job.

  • You reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) — the point where you’ve recovered as much as possible even if that isn’t your full pre-injury condition.

  • You agree to settle with the insurance company.

If you believe your payments ended early or were delayed, a workers’ comp lawyer can help you get the benefits you’re entitled to.

Settle your workers' comp claim today.

How long permanent benefits last

Workers’ comp benefits are considered temporary benefits up until you reach MMI. If you reach that point but you haven’t returned to your pre-injury ability, you will transition to long-term workers’ comp benefits, known as permanent disability benefits.

Permanent benefits can last weeks or years beyond the 7.7-year temporary benefits period. How long they last depends on the body part you injured and your disability rating — that is, the degree to which your workers’ comp doctor believes you’ve lost functionality for your injured body part.

If your workers’ comp doctor determines you have a total disability (a 100% disability rating), you could receive payments and medical coverage for the rest of your life. However, lifetime benefits are uncommon and the insurance company is likely to negotiate a lump sum settlement rather than collecting permanent benefits.

Workers’ comp payment rates in Georgia

Georgia workers’ comp pays you two-thirds of the average weekly wages (AWW) you earned before your injury. However, there are limits. Payments are at least $50.00 per week or are equal to your AWW, whichever is less. The maximum payment is $800 per week, even if two-thirds of your AWW is more than that.

Learn more about how much workers’ comp pays in Georgia.

Who gets a workers’ comp settlement

Not all workers receive a settlement through Georgia workers’ comp. Generally, the insurance company offers to settle to avoid months or years of ongoing payments.

You’re more likely to receive a settlement offer if you approach MMI but can’t return to work and may need to transition to permanent benefits. Workers with injuries that affect more than one body part or who face complicated recoveries could especially get an offer.

However, the insurance company considers many variables when deciding whether to settle and no two cases are the same. It’s important to understand when workers’ comp offers a settlement so you know what to expect.

What’s a fair settlement?

There is no single answer for how much your settlement should be. You want enough to cover your lost wages from missed work and all medical treatment related to your claim. So while the average workers’ comp settlement is more than $40,000, your specific injury and recovery could mean you get more or less.

One move that almost everyone should make is to negotiate. The first offer from insurance is likely to be the bare minimum. (Remember that the insurer is ultimately a business trying to pay you as little as possible to maximize its own profits.) Insurance will also have a lawyer (or a team of them) to help it negotiate.

Hiring a workers’ comp lawyer will help you level the playing field and negotiate a fair settlement. A lawyer is trained in Georgia laws and they’ll be able to consider your whole situation so you don’t leave money or medical benefits on the table. (That’s one reason the average settlement with an Atticus lawyer is double what people get when they negotiate on their own.)

Learn more about what a workers’ comp lawyer does.

Get answers to your workers’ comp questions

Thousands of Georgians receive workers’ comp benefits each year. Despite the many workers who rely on these benefits to get by, the program is anything but easy to navigate. While you can file a claim on your own, navigating the process can be technical and time-consuming.

Atticus can help you through the process by connecting you with an experienced local workers’ comp lawyer. There’s no upfront cost and there’s no risk because if our lawyer doesn’t help you get win benefits or get a settlement, you don’t owe them a penny.

Unsure whether a lawyer can help your case? Start by filling out our workers’ comp quiz and our team will reach out to answer your questions for free.

Maximize your Georgia workers' comp benefits.

Related resources:

5 Common Questions About Workers’ Comp Lawyers

A hand draw portrait of a smiling, helpful lawyer.
By Victoria Muñoz

How Much a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Costs in Every State

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By Victoria Muñoz

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A drawing of the lead workers' compensation lawyer for Atticus.

Victoria Muñoz

Lead Attorney

Victoria Muñoz is an attorney on Atticus’s Workers' Compensation team. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of Stanford Law School, and has counseled hundreds of people seeking workers' compensation. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her pup.
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