This is the second in a series of articles addressing Georgia Workers’ Compensation forms. If you have not read the first article in this series which gives a basic overview of Workers’ Compensation forms and what they do, we suggest that you start with that article. This article will focus on Workers’ Compensation forms that you are likely to receive or encounter shortly after you suffer an injury at work.
Panel of Physicians (Form WC-P1, WC-P2, or WC-P3)
The panel of physicians is a document that your employer is legally required to post at the job site. Your employer is also legally required to explain it to you. While there are three different types of panels of physicians, the most common is the Form WC-P1 which is a list of at least six doctors. The basic ideas of the panel of physicians is that you can select a doctor from the doctors listed on the panel to serve as your authorized treating physician in your workers’ compensation claim. For more information about medical treatment in your Workers’ Compensation claim including your right to choose a doctor off the panel of physicians and your right to change doctors, you can take a look at our series of articles on medical treatment.
Employer’s First Report of Injury (Form WC-1)
The First Report of Injury is the equivalent of an accident report. When you report a workers’ compensation injury to your employer, your employer should fill out the top half of the Form WC-1 and send it to their insurance company. Once the form reaches the insurance company, they will begin an investigation of the claim. After that investigation, the insurance company will complete the bottom half of the Form WC-1 indicating that they have accepted the claim and are paying benefits or indicating that they are denying (controverting) the claim. If your claim is denied, we recommend that you contact one of our attorneys for a free consultation as soon as possible.
Wage Statement (Form WC-6)
In addition to medical treatment, the primary benefits you receive in a Workers’ Compensation claim are benefits you receive when you are losing earnings because of your injury (temporary total or temporary partial disability benefits) and benefits you receive when you have a permanent impairment from your injury (permanent partial disability benefits). All of these benefits are paid weekly based on the money that you earned in the thirteen weeks before your injury. The Form WC-6 Wage Statement provides you with the information that your employer is reporting about what you earned in the thirteen weeks before your injury.
The wages included on this wage statement should be your gross earnings during the thirteen weeks before your injury. This should include almost any money earned by you including tips, bonuses, per diem, mileage/vehicle reimbursement, etc. If you have a second or third job, it may need to include the earnings from your other jobs. Since this calculation affects every temporary total, temporary partial, or permanent partial disability check that you ever receive from your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance company, it is very important that it be done correctly. If you disagree with the calculation of your average weekly wage, you or a workers’ compensation attorney representing you can request a hearing to have a workers’ compensation judge determine your correct average weekly wage by filing a Form WC-14 Request for Hearing. The Form WC-14 along with the Form WC-2 and Form WC-3 will be discussed in our next article in this series on Georgia Workers’ Compensation Forms.