Learn the difference in scheduled and unscheduled benefits for your workers’ comp
More than 500 workers sustain a workplace injury every hour in the U.S. All workplace injuries can be categorized as either “scheduled” or “unscheduled.” The severity of the injury can lead to complete or partial impairment, ultimately leading to lifelong disability and causing a worker to lose their job or rendering them unemployable.
According to Georgia law, workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for both scheduled and unscheduled injuries. Therefore, if you or your loved one has sustained a form of permanent disability due to a workplace injury, consider taking legal action. Start by consulting with an experienced, reputable and knowledgeable work injury lawyer near you.
What are scheduled work injuries?
This form of permanent injury is associated with the loss of limbs and organs in the body. In a scheduled injury, insurance company policies and doctors will determine your scheduled award amount, which can typically last over several weeks.
Common schedule injuries
A scheduled workplace-related injury can involve damage to your eyes, loss of hearing and even limb loss. While there are many causes of permanent workplace injuries in Georgia, below are the common forms of scheduled injuries.
- Foot injuries
- Wrist injuries
- Elbow injuries
How much is your scheduled workers’ comp claim worth?
Most states across the country, including Georgia, provide a comprehensive injury schedule. This list includes information on each lost body part’s compensation and duration for each limb or organ in weeks.
Suppose you’ve lost all functionality in your arm. You’ll be awarded benefits for the maximum number of weeks allowed. For partial loss, a formula is used to determine the award paid out. At first, your doctor will assess your degree of disability and allocate a percentage or rating to it. The overall percentage of disability will be entered into a formula to calculate your earnings.
The amount of your scheduled award will be determined by multiplying the number of weeks by two-thirds of your weekly wage.
For example, if your doctor determines that you’ve received a 45 percent loss to your arm, you will receive benefits for 101 weeks multiplied by two-thirds of your weekly wage according to the schedule listing. The compensation duration will run its course and be paid in full over a set number of weeks, as stated by the formula.
However, insurance companies will determine the amount of money you will receive every month. Dealing with arrangements can be difficult. Most insurance companies will use miscalculations and odd figures to reduce the amount of compensation you’ll receive.
During your time of pain and recovery, the last thing you’d want is to have your compensation wrongfully deducted from you. Our work injury attorneys can help you obtain the right financial settlement and other benefits that you deserve, such as vocational training, rehabilitation and lost wages during your recovery.
What is an unscheduled work injury?
An unscheduled injury is a general form of permanent impairment. They include injuries to the shoulders, neck or occupational diseases. You can file for workers’ compensation if you have a permanent partial disability brought out by your occupational duties. This will allow you to receive some form of compensation.
However, your unscheduled award is determined based on the impact the injury has on your ability to earn, unlike a scheduled award that focuses on the percentage of disability suffered.
On that note, it is possible to receive zero compensation if the involved parties can prove that your injury does not affect your ability to earn regardless of disability.
It’s a good idea to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer to help defend your legal rights. This can make a massive difference in determining whether you’ll receive no compensation or a fixed monthly unscheduled award.
Common unscheduled injuries
While they don’t include the loss of a limb or organ, an unscheduled injury can typically include trauma to the following regions within the body, such as:
- Neck injuries
- Head injuries
How much is your unscheduled award worth?
An unscheduled award can be determined through an estimate of the degree of impairment. A physician will assign a disability rating to your impairment level, and your award is based on the allowed number of weeks for the body part.
For example, if you receive a 25 percent permanent disability rating to your back, and the back injury is evaluated at 300 weeks, you’ll obtain benefits for 75 weeks.
In a wage loss-based approach, your condition will be used to determine the level at which your injury has affected your ability to earn. Your work capability and the difference in pre-injury and post-injury earnings will be used to estimate your entitled benefits.
In some cases, one may be deemed unworthy of wage loss benefits if there is no regression in their work performance. However, if you receive an unscheduled award, the earnings can last for the whole duration of your disability.
A scheduled or unscheduled work-related injury can prove to be a burden to your financial and emotional reserves. At Gerber & Holder Law, our team of dedicated advocates is here to help secure the compensation you deserve.