If you run a business and have employees, you’ll need to purchase Georgia workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, this type of insurance, is a requirement in most states, including Georgia, with some exceptions. It helps pay your employees’ medical bills if they get injured on the job. And limits your liability for workplace accidents.
In Georgia, workers’ compensation insurance costs around $1.08 per $100 of payroll. That means, for example, a company with a total annual payroll of $100,000 will pay approximately $1,080 for workers compensation insurance for the entire year. Or around $90 a month. These rates can vary considerably, though, depending on a number of factors.
In general, the probability of an on-the-job injury determines workers’ compensation rates. When applying for your policy, you can classify different employees with different class codes to make sure you’re paying the right amount. For example, some office workers may have lower workers’ compensation costs than those who perform more labor-intensive tasks. This is because they are exposed to greater risk.
If one of your employees is injured at work or becomes ill because of workplace conditions. Workers’ compensation in Georgia can help pay for their medical bills. The weekly average wage of an employee is used to calculate workers’ compensation benefits. The type of claim determines the exact amount.
The most important thing that workers’ compensation does is offer coverage for your injured employee’s medical treatment. This would include doctor’s appointments, hospital stays, and surgical procedures. Following a return to work, an employee may need ongoing care. Such as follow-up appointments or extra surgeries; workers’ compensation will also cover these medical bills.
Additionally, if the incident causes permanent or temporary disability, the employee will receive compensation in the form of weekly or lump sum payments. If your employee suffers a temporary disability, their injury is preventing them from performing their regular job while they recover. They have a permanent disability if a doctor determines that they will not fully recover from their injury.
These two classifications fall into two subcategories:
- Temporary total disability (TTD) – These payments will be made in the event that your employee is unable to work at all while recovering.
- Temporary partial disability (TPD) – TPD payments will be made if your employee is still able to work, but with certain restrictions, such as requiring lighter duties or fewer hours. Even if your company does not provide work that meets these requirements, the employee may still be eligible for these payments.
- Permanent total disability (PTD) – If your employee is unable to work due to an accident or illness even after they recover as much as they are likely to, they will be eligible for PTD payments.
- Permanent partial disability (PPD) – Employees who have permanent impairments but are able to work with those impairments will be eligible for PPD.
Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits
If an employee passes away due to a workplace accident or illness, their dependents qualify for death benefits. Under Georgia law, anyone who depended on the deceased worker for financial support is entitled to benefits. Workers’ compensation assumes the employee’s spouse and children are dependents, but there are a few requirements:
- The surviving spouse must be legally married to the deceased. If the couple was living apart for 90 days prior to the date of injury or death. Workers’ comp can deny the claim unless they can prove they were dependent on the worker. Common-law partners may also be ineligible.
- Children under the age of 18 are dependents. As are stepchildren, children of adoption, and children born posthumously to the worker. Benefits also extend to children over the age of 18 who are unable to work due to a physical or mental disability. As well as children under the age of 22 who are full-time students.
- Anyone else who can show they were financially dependent on the worker may be able to file a claim for benefits. (For instance, an elderly parent).
In Georgia, workers’ compensation death benefits include:
- Weekly income benefits
- Funeral expenses up to $7,500
- Medical bills for the deceased person
Death benefits to a surviving spouse with no other dependents are capped at $150,000, and paid until age 65 or 400 weeks of payments, whichever comes first. If the widowed spouse remarries or engages in a cohabiting relationship with another person, benefits will be terminated.
Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Laws
Workers’ compensation coverage is required in Georgia for businesses with three or more full-time, part-time, or seasonal employees. But there are some types of employees that are exempt, including:
- Railroad employees
- Government employees in the United States
- Farm laborers
- Domestic employees
The severity of an employee’s injury or illness determines workers’ compensation benefits. Individuals may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for up to 400 weeks, depending on the nature of their injury or illness.
How to Buy Workers’ Compensation Insurance
If you’re looking for workers’ compensation coverage in Georgia, your best bet is to work with an insurance agent to find a policy through a private commercial insurance company. EZ offers a simple online application that enables Georgia businesses to compare quotes from top insurance carriers.
You might also have the option to self-insure your workers’ compensation claims. This means that instead of paying a premium and submitting any workers’ compensation claims to an insurance carrier, you will pay them yourself out-of-pocket as they arise. To find out if you’re eligible to self-insure, you must fill out an application and submit it to the Georgia State Workers’ Compensation Board, along with the required documents and a $500 processing fee.
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How to Get the Most Savings
Despite the fact that the majority of workers’ compensation costs are determined by factors that are out of your control, there are still ways to save. A safety program is an excellent way to avoid workplace injuries and claims. It is absolutely vital to have safety and proper working procedures in place, no matter your industry. Employees who have been safety trained are less likely to be injured, resulting in lower workers’ compensation costs for your business.
It is also advisable to regularly review your claims history. Examining your claims history can help you identify and correct patterns. Certain aspects of your operations may become a frequent source of claims, and so might need to be adjusted. By maintaining a close watch on potentially hazardous operations, you can save money on claims and on workers’ comp insurance.
One of the most efficient ways to save money is to properly classify your employees. When you apply for workers’ comp insurance, you will have to classify each employee based on their function, such as desk worker or laborer. These risk classifications have an impact on the cost of workers’ compensation, so make sure your employees are classified correctly. Not only that, but if you fail to properly classify your employees, you could be fined.
And finally, working with one of EZ’s licensed agents can save you hundreds of dollars per year. We specialize in insurance for a wide variety of small businesses and can find you the best policy for your business and your budget. Start a free online application today to start comparing workers’ compensation insurance quotes for your small business from leading U.S. carriers.
Georgia Workers’ Compensation FAQs
Are you required to have workers’ compensation insurance in Georgia?
Workers’ compensation coverage is required in Georgia for businesses with three or more full-time, part-time, or seasonal employees. If you do not have workers’ compensation insurance in Georgia, you may face both civil and criminal penalties. Workers’ compensation is enforced by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation; the state board’s regulation division will investigate any incidents of noncompliance or allegations of fraud. Employers who fail to comply may face the following penalties:
Liability: If you do not carry the required workers’ compensation coverage, you will be liable for compensating an employee for any injuries in the same way that workers’ compensation insurance would have done. If you fail to carry insurance, you may be held liable for attorney’s fees, civil penalties, and a 10% increase in compensation to the injured worker.
Civil penalties: Anyone who violates workers’ compensation regulations may face fines ranging from $100 to $1,000 per violation. False statements to the board could result in fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 per violation. If your company fails to carry the necessary insurance coverage, the civil penalty could range between $500 and $5,000 per violation.
Criminal penalties: If you refuse or willfully fail to maintain insurance coverage, you could be charged with a misdemeanor. If convicted, the offense is punishable by a $1,000 to $10,000 fine, one year in prison, or both.
How do workers’ compensation settlements work in Georgia?
Employees in Georgia can request workers’ compensation settlements by filing a claim with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Georgia’s board will assist with negotiations through settlement conferences following the request for a workers’ compensation settlement. Employees can also file a request for mediation with the board.
What is the statute of limitations in Georgia?
A worker who has been injured must file a claim within the workers’ compensation statute of limitations. Georgia law contains three distinct provisions:
- Employees typically have one year from the date of injury to file a workers’ compensation claim.
- If your employee has been receiving temporary, total, or partial disability benefits, they have two years from the end of these benefits to file a claim.
- After receiving medical treatment, the injured party has one year to submit the bill to you, their employer, or your workers’ compensation insurance company.
Why Use EZ
We do everything possible to make the process of purchasing workers’ compensation insurance as simple and stress-free as possible. As soon as you fill out our form, you will receive instant, free quotes from your dedicated agent, who will give you personalized service and will work to understand your needs. We want to ensure that you make the best decision possible, and that you get the best coverage at the best price. Our services are completely free so check out your quotes today!
If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at 877-670-3538. You will connect with a local insurance agent who can answer all of your questions, and help you find the workers’ compensation policy that works best for your business.