Workers’ Compensation and Time

John worked for a landscaping company in Georgia. In 2007, he was injured and required surgery on his shoulder; he returned to work after a month. In 2008, he retired, and in the seven intervening years, he has had no further problems with his shoulder; that is until recently when it began to really bother him again.

John was out of work for about a month after the injury and surgery. He received pay from his company during that month.

Does he have any recourse now that seven years have passed?

John needs to call the insurance company or the employer, and have them contact the insurance company. The claim is arguably still open, medically.

If the company owes him anything, it would be for medical bills. The statute has passed for wage benefits.

There is a new workers’ comp rule in Georgia where medicals are for only 400 weeks maximum and non-catastrophic claims. Since John’s injury pre-dates that change, he may still receive medical reimbursement.

Are they going to argue about the conditions and say that John is the cause of the problem with his shoulder bothering him now? They will, most likely, and it is sometimes difficult to get follow-up medicals after the fact.

So, John can still get compensation for any repeat surgery; he is entitled to medical benefits, but no money.

Another question about workers’ comp – can you get benefits for the death of a loved one – for time off during the grieving process?

Unfortunately, there are no such benefits. Workers’ compensation really is set up only to compensate injured workers while they are out of work due to injuries suffered while on the job.


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