The workers’ compensation system strives to protect employees who suffer work-related injuries. However, there are many misconceptions that surround this system.
These misconceptions can sometimes prevent workers’ from getting the benefits they deserve. By debunking some of these myths, you will have a better understanding of the system.
Misconception 1: Workers’ comp only covers major accidents
Many people think that workers’ compensation only covers catastrophic injuries or major accidents. This is not true. Even minor injuries, like a twisted ankle or a strained back, can qualify for benefits if they occurred while you were working. If your injury requires medical attention or causes you to miss work, you should consider filing a claim.
Misconception 2: If the accident was your fault, you cannot file a claim
The Georgia workers’ compensation system operates on a no-fault basis. This means that even if you were responsible for your injury, you can still qualify for benefits. The main criterion is that the injury occurred while you were performing your job duties.
Misconception 3: You must report the injury immediately or lose the chance to claim
While it is advisable to report any workplace injury as soon as it happens, you do have some time. In Georgia, you typically have 30 days from the date of the injury to notify your employer.
Misconception 4: Your employer decides if you get benefits
Your employer does not have the final say on whether you receive workers’ compensation benefits. If the board denies your claim, you have the right to appeal that decision. The State Board of Workers’ Compensation is the governing body that makes the ultimate decision.
Misconception 5: The system only covers medical bills
Medical bills are a significant part of workers’ compensation, but if your injury forces you to miss work, you might also qualify for wage benefits. This ensures that while you are recovering, you still have some income.
Understanding the ins and outs of the workers’ compensation system is necessary to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve. If you ever find yourself injured at work, remember these points and advocate for your rights.