Total Disability

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What is Total Disability?

Total disability is caused by an injury that affects a person’s physical and/or mental abilities so much that they can never return to normal activities again. Total disability lasts even after the person has healed as much as medically possible.

As long as a worker can’t do the duties required by their job, they can usually receive total disability even if they start making money at another job. But some insurance companies define “total disability” in a way that means a person who works at another job can’t receive benefits.

In either case, a person who is totally disabled should be able to get payments to make up for the wages they would have earned if they weren’t disabled in a way that keeps them from returning to their job. All employers must have workers’ compensation insurance to pay for these benefits in Georgia.

Total Disability and Partial Disability Benefits

Total disability benefits and partial disability benefits are meant to protect you if you get hurt at work. But they are very different in significant ways. With a permanent partial disability, the worker can still do part of their job, but not as well as they used to. Permanent partial disability is often caused by things like hearing loss, back injuries, amputation, and damage to eyesight. About half of all workers’ compensation claims are for this kind of disability.

A worker with a permanent partial disability can still function in some way at their job, but not as much as they could before their injury. Vision damage, losing a limb, back injuries, or neck injuries are typical examples of permanent partial disabilities. These injuries are more common than total disability and make up about half of all workers’ comp claims.

When a worker has a permanent total disability, they are completely disabled and unable to perform their job in any capacity. Permanent total disabilities include paralysis or complete vision or hearing loss.

How Georgia's Total Disability Benefits Work

In Georgia, workers who are hurt and can’t work for more than seven days get temporary total disability benefits. The injured worker gets two-thirds of the average weekly wage they were getting before the injury. Georgia put a $575 per week limit on these benefits in July 2017. The worker will keep getting these benefits until 400 weeks have passed or until they have reached their highest level of medical improvement.

Once your injuries are fully taken care of, your doctor will determine if you have a permanent disability. If you’re found to have a permanent and total disability, Georgia law says that you’ll keep getting the same amount of money each week for the rest of your life.

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