If you were injured at work, you may be left wondering how you’ll pay for medical bills or make ends meet. As an insurance paid by your employer, workers’ compensation can give employees peace of mind after they’ve been injured on the job. In the state of Georgia, workers’ compensation laws are fairly straight forward. If you’re unsure if you qualify for workers’ compensation insurance, Ashenden & Hollingsworth, P.C. can help you determine your rights and if you are in fact qualified for the insurance. To give a head start, here are 5 indicators to help determine if you’re eligible for workers’ compensation.
Your Employer Has Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Georgia state law requires all employers with 3 or more employees to have workers’ compensation insurance. This includes businesses that are employing part time workers as well. If you are employed as a full or part time worker with a business that employs 3 or more workers, you are entitled to workers’ compensation if you become injured while on the job.
You Are An Employee
It may seem like common sense, but in order to be eligible for workers’ compensation, you must be an actual employee of the company in question. This is classified as a person working full or part time for an employer and paying taxes under the W2 tax form. Other affiliates of the business, such as independent contractors, volunteers, federal employees, railroad workers and domestic workers.
Your Injury Is Work Related
In order to be eligible for workers’ compensation in Georgia, your injury must be directly related to an incident at the workplace. Be sure to document the incident with a manager or supervisor as soon as possible; waiting longer than 30 days may disqualify you from receiving benefits.
Your Illness Is Work Related
You’re also entitled to workers’ compensation if you become ill on the job. However, this is only the case if your condition is proven as a direct result to your workplace. For example, asbestosis is a lung disease that causes scarring in the lung tissue, making it difficult to breathe. It’s a result of breathing in asbestos fibers that may be present on construction sites and at shipyards. This form of disease can be linked to a worksite, therefore making it an eligible claim for workers’ compensation.
You Experience Hearing Loss or Mental Impairment
Those who work in noisy environments such as construction sites and factories may experience hearing loss. If you’ve noticed your quality of hearing has decreased, this may be covered under workers’ compensation.
In addition, mental impairment or disturbances that were triggered by an event while at work may be covered under the insurance. For example, a traumatic event such as a robbery or witnessing a death at the workplace may trigger a depressive episode or paranoia. If this can be proven, you may qualify for workers’ compensation.
It can be difficult to prove that an illness, injury or traumatic experience is directly related to your workplace. If your experience falls in a grey area, or you’re simply unsure of the next steps, contact Ashenden & Hollingsworth, P.C. for a consultation.