How to use these terms when filing a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia
If you have experienced an on-the-job injury or illness, you may be considering a workers’ compensation claim. In Georgia, workers’ compensation insurance is administered through the State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC) and paid for by employers.
Any employer in Georgia with 3 or more seasonal, part-time or full time employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance for its employees. If the company is incorporated or an LLC, it must carry workers’ compensation insurance even if it has only 1 employee. Government agencies, farm laborers and railroad companies don’t have the same workers’ compensation insurance requirements. The Georgia SBWC provides a listing of all covered businesses.
Before you file any claim, it’s in your best interest to become familiar with some workers’ compensation definitions. Let’s look at some of the most common terms you’re likely to encounter while submitting your work injury form or filing a claim.
Workers’ compensation glossary of terms
- Attorney For Employee/Claimant and Attorney For Employer/Insurer. Many workers benefit from hiring an attorney to represent them during a workers’ compensation claim. Not only may an attorney be of assistance if the employer or insurer refuses to pay, but they also determine if justice should be pursued beyond the workers’ compensation process. Of course, the employer and insurer may also have legal representation.
- Board Claim Number. After you file a claim with the SBWC, it will issue you a 9-digit case file or claim number.
- Dependency Benefits. In Georgia, if a work-related death occurs, the workers’ compensation law provides benefits to the dependents of the deceased worker.
- First Date Disabled. In Georgia, the date of disability is the first day the employee is unable to work a full day.
- Insurer/Self-Insurer. Georgia employers purchase workers’ compensation insurance in the private market from an insurance carrier or agency that is licensed to write that type of policy in the state. Alternatively, if an employer meets certain specifications, it can petition the SBWC to be self-insured. The SBWC and the Georgia Self-Insurers Guaranty Trust Fund evaluate each applying employer to determine if it qualifies for self-insurance. The SBWC then issues a 5-digit ID number to each employer.
- Medical Benefits. Georgia workers’ compensation laws require payment for all necessary and reasonable medical treatment that is related to a work injury or illness.
- Notice Of Claim Only. Your first filing of the WC-14 can be notice of claim only.
- PPD. PPD stands for permanent partial disability.
- Request for Catastrophic Designation. Many work injuries or illnesses are short-term and, following recovery, the employee can return to full employment. However, sometimes an employee may suffer a catastrophic injury or illness that results in a loss of function or permanent disability. Georgia law provides for specific benefits if a catastrophic designation is granted under a workers’ compensation claim.
- Request For Mediation/Notice Of Claim. The third choice at the top of the WC-14 form is a request for mediation. A mediator is a neutral person who works with the parties to help reach a resolution in the dispute. The mediator may offer suggestions and assistance, but does not make a decision. The parties have to agree on the final decision. Mediation in workers’ compensation cases is voluntary.
- Request Hearing/Notice Of Claim. If your benefits are denied, you can request a hearing by checking this box at the top of the WC-14 form. The hearing takes place in front of a workers’ compensation judge. The judge requests information from both parties. You can present your case and medical records to the judge, present other witnesses to support your case, and be cross-examined by the lawyer representing your employer or their insurance company. The insurance lawyer may also present paperwork and witnesses. The judge will not release a decision at this time. Both parties draft closing briefs, which summarize their positions, and present them to the judge.
- TPD. TPD stands for temporary partial disability.
- TTD. TTD stands for temporary total disability.
- WC-14 Notice Of Claim. This is the form that is administered by the State that you can obtain from the SBWC, find online and complete. It is 1 page. To file a claim, you need to complete Form WC-14, file it with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, send a copy to your employer and send another copy to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
There are many other forms and phrases associated with workers’ compensation claims in Georgia. This list of workers’ compensation terminology is associated with words commonly found on the WC-14 form. Before filing a claim, become familiar with the process and terms associated with workers’ compensation claims.
If you need assistance with filing your compensation claim, the skilled team at Gerber Holder Attorneys At Law is experienced and trusted by injured workers throughout Georgia.