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When Will My Georgia Workers Compensation Check Stop?

When a workers compensation injury keeps you out of work in Georgia, you rely on the workers compensation check that the insurance company pays you.  This temporary total disability check replaces the wages that you lose when you are unable to work.

But, Georgia law does have limits on how long the insurance company has to pay these weekly checks.  Knowing about and understanding these limits can help you make good decisions about your workers compensation case.

There are three types of weekly workers compensation checks in Georgia.  In this article, I am going to focus on temporary total disability (TTD) benefits.  The two other types of weekly benefits are temporary partial disability and permanent partial disability.

Checks close up numbersCan the insurance company just stop paying my weekly TTD check?

They can, but they will probably have to pay assessed attorney’s fees and late penalties if they do.  Georgia’s workers compensation law requires the insurance company to have a valid reason to stop your weekly check.  Georgia’s law also requires them to file a Form WC-2 that states the reason that they are stopping your check.

Does my weekly check stop if the doctor says I can go back to work on “light duty” restrictions?

No.  Even if the doctor says your are physically capable of doing restricted work, your workers compensation TTD check will continue.  I do need to clarify this point because there are a couple of things that could cause your check to stop in this situation.

First, your check could stop if the employer offers you a suitable light duty job.  In this situation, your check could stop if you go in and attempt the job or if you refuse to attempt it.

Georgia has very specialized rules about light duty job offers and how they affect your benefits.  To learn more about those light duty job rules, just read this article.

Your TTD weekly checks will also stop if you return to work after your doctor releases you to light duty.  If you are working, you are not entitled to temporary total disability but you might be entitled to temporary partial disability benefits if your injury causes you to make less.

Can the insurance company stop paying my check if the doctor places me at maximum medical improvement?

No.  Georgia law does not let the insurance company automatically stop your temporary total disability benefits when you reach maximum medical improvement.

Maximum medical improvement is the point at which your doctor has provided the treatment that you need for your injury and does not expect you to get substantially better.  If you are not completely better, you may receive a PPD rating and permanent work restrictions.

If you have permanent work restrictions, your injury may continue to keep you from working even after you reach maximum medical improvement.  If it does, you should continue to receive your weekly TTD benefits.

What happens when the doctor gives me a permanent partial disability rating and releases me?

This will likely happen when you reach maximum medical improvement.  As I discussed in the section above, your weekly workers compensation check should continue as long as your injury continues to keep you out of work.

Light duty job 2Will my weekly check stop if I return to work?

Yes.  You only receive temporary total disability benefits when your injury keeps you from working.  If you return to work, those benefits should stop.

This is true regardless of whether you go back to work with the company where you were injured or a different company.  In both situations, your workers compensation checks should stop when you actually return to work.

If you return to work, you should notify the workers compensation insurance company that you have returned so that they do not continue to pay you temporary total disability benefits.  If they continue to pay you temporary total disability benefits after you return to work, you should not cash those checks.  There are potential penalties for receiving temporary total disability benefits when you are not entitled to them.

There is one specialized situation where you can receive temporary total disability benefits even though you return to work.  It comes up in the case where you have more than one job at the time of your workers compensation injury.  If your jobs qualify as concurrent dissimilar employment, you might be entitled to continue drawing TTD benefits when you return to work at one of your jobs.  But, this area of the law is extremely complicated.

What happens if the doctor says I can return to work without restrictions?

If your authorized treating physician says that you can return to work without restrictions, the workers compensation insurance company will probably file a Form WC-2 to notify you that they are stopping payment of TTD benefits.  In this situation, Georgia law allows them to do so.

This can happen even if you do not actually go back to work.  Georgia law allows the insurance company to stop your weekly check in this situation because your injury cannot be keeping you out of work if you do not have any work restrictions.  But, the insurance company has to file paperwork properly to stop your check.

While the insurance company can stop paying your check if they file the paperwork properly, you can fight about getting your check restarted if you believe that you still have limitations from your injury.  Many times, my clients get released to return to work without restrictions by a company doctor even though their injuries still affect their ability to work.  When we prove to a judge that they still have limitations, their benefits get restarted.

Worried couple looking at billsAre there other times that the insurance company can stop my check?

Yes.  Most of the reasons that the insurance company can stop your weekly check are listed in Section C of the Form WC-2.

Also, Georgia law has limits on how long the insurance company has to pay temporary total disability benefits.  In most cases, the maximum time you can receive temporary total disability benefits is 400 weeks from your date of injury.  Also, you may stop receiving temporary total disability benefits sooner if the insurance company files a Form WC-104 which ultimately converts your weekly checks to temporary partial disability.


What if I have other questions about workers compensation?

Georgia’s workers compensation system can be very confusing.  You have to worry about getting the treatment you need and paying your bills while also worrying about not missing any deadlines that could cause you to lose your right to receive workers compensation benefits.

If you have questions, I would recommend that you try to get answers.  To find out more about how to schedule a time to talk to me about your workers compensation questions, just read this short article.

Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers.  He regularly publishes videos and write blog articles about Georgia’s workers compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families.

To be notified of Jason’s new workers compensation videos, subscribe to his Georgia Workers Compensation Video Series channel on YouTube by clicking the subscribe button below.

Brittney-lee orourkeBrittney-lee orourke
05:23 18 Feb 22
Amazing! Jason and his team were very helpful and had the best communication by far. Walked me though every step with great detail and had answers for any question I had. They handled my case better then I could imagine, it was a weird case and they stayed on top of it and kept me updated every step of the way! Highly recommend this Team! Thanks so much to Jason and his Awesome team!-Brittney
China JonesChina Jones
18:58 08 Feb 22
I absolutely love this group of attorneys, when I was at my lowest they did everything they could to help me get justice for my injury. I believe if I were to have never picked my phone up and called the amazing group that helped me I definitely would not have received my idea of rights. If you have an issue and are just not sure please understand that they will help you, stay in contact, answer any question you have, and for sure get you the justice you deserve I thank them from the bottom of my heart and I will definitely refer them to anyone who has been hurt because they most definitely care about their work and clients.
Luv LocsLuv Locs
16:08 15 Jan 22
The entire law office was attentive and responsive to all of my concerns dealing with my workers compensation case.
21:14 02 Jan 22
If you must get a lawyer involved, you’d do well to work with Jason Perkins and his team at Perkins Studdard Law.They were thorough in gathering information and in sharing all the steps in the workers comp process specific to my case. Jason and the team were responsive to my bevy of questions and concerns.I appreciated the informative videos and consultations provided by Jason over video meetings and multiple phone calls.I hope I’m never injured on the job again. However, if I am and if my employer responds as my previous employer did, I’ll contact Perkins Studdard Law immediately to handle the case.
Dana BessDana Bess
23:57 10 Dec 21
Everyone at Perkins Studdard was kind and professional. They were always extremely responsive and answered all questions that I had and followed up to make sure I had an understanding of what was going on along with emailing videos to explain every step of my case so I would know what to expect and be prepared. Jason is a very genuine person and I trusted him with my case. He answered so many questions for me even before I retained him as my WC lawyer. I highly recommend him and his associates at Perkins Studdard.

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Jason Perkins

Workers' Compensation Attorney

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