Termination of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The Workers’ Compensation Law exists to protect employees who suffer injuries at work. After an injury, workers’ compensation benefits can cover the employee’s medical expenses and lost wages, to an extent. There are limits on how much an injured employee may collect in workers’ compensation benefits each week, as well as limits on how long benefit payments last. Additionally, an employer or insurer may choose to dispute a benefits claim after payments begin. In any of these situations, the employee will eventually receive a Termination of Benefits notice.
After receiving such a notice you didn’t expect, it may be wise to contact an attorney familiar with workers’ compensation cases. If you have already run the course of the benefits you expected to receive, then the Termination of Benefits is simply a notice that your benefit eligibility has expired. If you believe that you received a Termination of Benefits without just cause, reach out to the Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers at Cruz & Associates to discuss your options.
Why Did I Receive a Termination of Benefits?
If you suddenly receive notice of Termination of Benefits, this may be due to a procedural issue with your claim, a dispute from your employer, a dispute from your employer’s insurance carrier, or returning to work in a different position. Additionally, changes to your claim status or employment status may interrupt benefit payments or lead to termination of benefits.
Georgia state law dictates the limits for benefit payments to injured employees:
- Employees who suffer catastrophic injuries often qualify for lifetime benefits. A “catastrophic” injury describes any injury that leads to permanent disability, preventing future employment. Some employees may receive benefits for an extended time while they receive job training for new employment opportunities.
- Employees who sustained injuries after July 1, 1992 may receive benefits payments for up to 400 weeks. Georgia state law caps weekly benefit payments at two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly salary, or no more than $575.
- An employee who loses an arm or leg may receive benefits for up to 225 weeks.
- Employees who return to work in a different, lower-paying position will stop receiving their regular workers’ compensation benefits and begin receiving partial workers’ compensation benefits for up to 350 weeks. Partial benefit payments will not exceed $383 a week under Georgia state law.
When to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Anyone who claims workers’ compensation benefits should expect a Termination of Benefits notice at some point, but when these notices arrive sooner than expected or without justification, the injured employees relying on those payments may not know what to do next. At Cruz & Associates, our attorneys have over 25 years of experience handling all types of workers’ compensation claims in the Atlanta area. We understand how jarring it can be to suddenly receive a Termination of Benefits notice unexpectedly.
If you recently received a Termination of Benefits notice that you believe in inappropriate, reach out to Cruz & Associates to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We will review the details of your workers’ compensation case and let you know what options are available.