Even though your benefits may have begun for your Workers’ Compensation claim, this does not mean that they are guaranteed to continue. There are many ways that an injured worker may lose his entitlement to benefits. As an injured worker, it is a good idea to educate yourself about how your benefits could be suspended, or cut off.
One way that an injured worker can lose his entitlement to benefits is by failing to report his or her Workers’ Compensation claim promptly and in a timely manner. Even if you are unsure, you should speak with your supervisor or employer about your injury. In Georgia, if the claim is not reported before the one year anniversary from the date of injury, the right to benefits is lost.
If you fail to cooperate with your employer or your authorized treating physician, your benefits may be compromised. What does failure to cooperate mean? It does not mean that you have to do anything and everything that your employer tells you to do. It does not even mean that you have to agree with all your authorized treating physician’s recommendations for medical treatment. For example, in Georgia you have the right to refuse recommended surgery. However, it does not mean that you can disobey the Workers’ Compensation laws at random. It is often very difficult to know whether your choices are going to jeopardize your benefits, even when the issue seems simple enough.
This is why it is so important to have legal representation. When you have a lawyer representing you, your questions will be answered and there will be no doubt in your mind as to what you can and cannot do in order not to jeopardize your benefits.
Another way that you can lose your Workers’ Compensation benefits is to go to work for another employer while you are receiving benefits from your old employer for an on-the-job injury. This is not legally acceptable, even if the new job requires you to do to less physically demanding tasks.
There may come a time in your claim when your employer offers you a job to return to work. It does not have to be the same job that you were performing before you were injured. If the job is within the restrictions given by your authorized treating physician, you must at least attempt to do the work on the new job. However, there are procedures that must be followed before you are required to return to work.
There are many issues in Workers’ Compensation claims that may be frustrating to you. This is a time when you should be focused on restoring your health and not on complex legal issues.
For more information on not jeopardizing your benefits and any questions that you have about Atlanta work injury compensation, contact J. Franklin Burns, P.C., at 1-404-303-7770.