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How to File for Workers’ Comp in Georgia in 2024

Written by
A drawing of the lead workers' compensation lawyer for Atticus.
Victoria Muñoz
Lead Attorney
Published March 20, 2024
2 min read
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Georgia companies are required to carry workers’ comp insurance so that employees who get injured at work can get help paying medical expenses and other bills while they can’t work. If you’re injured at work follow the steps below to file a claim and get your benefits as soon as possible.

How to file for workers’ comp in Georgia

When the process works smoothly, there are a couple of easy steps to filing a workers’ comp case in Georgia:

  1. Report the injury to your employer within 30 days.

  2. Make sure your employer completes Form WC-1.

Your employer is required by law to complete Form WC-1 and submit it to their workers’ comp insurance company. This form is the official way to file for workers’ comp and you shouldn’t need to do anything except tell your employer about your injury within 30 days. The insurance company will complete the form and send you a copy for your records. As long as the insurance approves your claim, your benefits will begin and they’ll pay for all necessary medical care.

If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal. At that point, Atticus has experienced workers comp attorneys who can help you appeal. Complete this quick questionnaire and we’ll contact you to learn more about your situation and answer your questions.

Have questions about Georgia workers' comp? Atticus has answers.

How to report an injury to your employer

The first step after a qualifying work injury is to report the injury to your employer within 30 days. Reporting can be as simple as telling your employer that you were injured at work. Your “employer” could include your boss, supervisor, manager, or another high-ranking person at your company.

This step is very important. If you miss the 30-day deadline, you will not be eligible for benefits, no matter how serious your injury is or how much work time you miss.

Why you should report your injury in writing

We recommend that you give a written notice and keep a copy for yourself. At the very least, write down the details of what happened as soon as you can, while your memory of the incident is still fresh.

Georgia law doesn’t require you to report an injury in writing, but doing so has a couple of key advantages:

  1. You have a paper trail. If you only give verbal notice to your employer, it’s easier for them or their insurance to later deny that you reported the injury within the 30-day time limit. Even if you trust your boss or your company, having a signed and dated letter or email will offer extra protection and peace of mind.

  2. You don’t have to rely on your memory for all the details. Throughout the claim process, you will need to describe your injury multiple times. You’ll need to notify your employer. Your doctors will want to know what happened to help them choose the best treatments. The claims adjuster or the insurance company will want to know what happened so they can confirm it’s a work-related injury. If the insurance or anyone else along the way has doubts about whether work caused the injury, you may also need to present your case before a judge in state court. Weeks or months could pass while all this is happening. Instead of hoping you remember every small detail, a written account of what happened will make it easier to answer everyone’s questions later on.

Learn more about how Georgia workers' comp works.

What to do if your employer doesn’t cooperate

If your employer doesn’t fill out and submit Form WC-1 for any reason, it’s also possible to file a claim on your own as long as you notified your employer of the injury within 30 days.

Start by completing Form WC-14. If you don’t know your employer’s workers’ comp insurance details, you may need to ask them. There is also an online lookup tool that could help.

Once you fill out the form, mail a copy to the Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation and give a copy to your employer.

Mailing address for WC-14:

State Board of Workers' Compensation

270 Peachtree St., NW 

Atlanta, Georgia 30303-1299

3 tips for filing Form WC-14

Form WC-14 is only one page, but it can feel complicated. Here are a few tips to help you navigate it:

  1. At the top of that form, you’ll need to check a box indicating whether you’re just notifying the worker’s comp board and your employer of the claim or if you want a hearing. Unless you have some reason to believe your claim will be denied, you can check the “Notice of Claim Only” box.

  2. Under the “Income Benefits” section, you’ll need to choose between temporary total disability (TTD), temporary partial disability (TPD), and permanent partial disability (PPD). 

    • TTD means you can’t work at all while you’re sick or injured. You’ll receive weekly payments worth up to two-thirds of your average weekly pre-injury wages.

    • TPD means you can potentially do some work, even if it isn’t at your usual capacity or in your regular job. You’ll receive weekly payments worth up to two-thirds of your average weekly pre-injury wages, minus the value of any income you earn from working while you recover.

    • PPD means you have a permanent impairment, usually from the loss of the functionality of some body part like your hand or ears. You’ll receive weekly payments worth up to two-thirds of your average weekly pre-injury wages.

  3. You’ll have the option to check a box requesting that your workplace incident is categorized as catastrophic. If the Board approves this designation, it could entitle you to lifetime benefits. For an injury to be catastrophic, it needs to be:

    • A spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis

    • An amputation 

    • A severe head or brain injury

    • Second or third-degree burns covering at least 25% of your whole body or 5% of your face or hands

    • Total blindness

If you submit the form with “Notice of Claim Only” but your claim gets denied, it’s absolutely within your rights to request a hearing. This is basically a trial during which you go before a judge and they make a decision about what benefits you should get from your claim. Having a workers’ comp lawyer at this stage will help you significantly. They’re trained in Georgia labor laws, and they will know how to best present a case that wins you the benefits you deserve.

Atticus can connect you with an experienced Georgia workers’ comp lawyer. Getting connected is free and you would only have to pay the lawyer after you win benefits. If you don’t win benefits, you don’t have to pay.

Fill out this workers’ comp questionnaire to get started online or call us at the number listed below.

Get workers' comp help today.

Frequently asked questions about Georgia workers’ comp

How do I file a workers’ comp claim in Georgia?

First, verbally notify your employer of your injury within 30 days. Then they should complete Form WC-1 to officially file a claim for you. If you run into issues and your employer won’t file a claim, you can also fill out Form WC-14.

How much does workers’ comp pay in Georgia?

Georgia workers’ comp pays up to two-thirds of your pre-injury wages, with a maximum payment of $800 per week and a minimum of $50 per week in 2024. Read more about how much workers’ comp pays in each state.

When does workers' comp start paying in Georgia?

There is a waiting period of seven calendar days before you’re eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits. It could take another 21 days to get paid, though. The insurance company has 21 days to complete an independent investigation of your claim.

How long can I be on workers’ comp pay in Georgia?

For most workers, payments last until you reach maximum medical improvement, up to a maximum of 400 weeks. Your benefits will end sooner if you return to work or agree to a settlement with the insurance company.

Can I work on workers' comp in Georgia?

As long as your doctor approves you to work and you stay within their restrictions, you can do light-duty or modified-duty work. Learn more about working on workers’ comp.

Do I need a workers’ comp lawyer?

While a workers’ comp lawyer isn’t necessary, they can greatly simplify the process. Clients with lawyers also receive higher benefits, on average. Working with a lawyer isn’t the same as suing your employer and there is also no upfront cost. You only pay the lawyer fee if they win you benefits or a settlement. Read more on what a workers’ comp lawyer does.

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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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