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Workers Compensation Deadlines for Medical Treatment4 minute read

Medical treatment is one of the primary benefits workers compensation pays for an injury.  But like the benefits, you must contend with deadlines to make sure you receive this benefit.

Georgia’s workers compensation law has a number of different deadlines.  You should make sure you know what these deadlines are so they do not affect your claim.

In this article, I focus on the deadlines affecting your rights to medical treatment.  I have discussed other workers compensation deadlines in previous articles.  To get a general overview of these deadlines, I suggest reading this article about statutes of limitations.

Man with neck injury and woman reading letterWhat is the first deadline I need to worry about?

The first deadline to worry about is the deadline for giving notice of your injury.  This requirement applies to your injury generally, not just your medical treatment.

The law requires you to give notice of your injury within 30 days.  Failure to meet this requirement may mean that you lose your claim.  Even though you have 30 days to give notice, it is almost always best to give your notice as soon as possible.

What deadlines specifically apply to medical treatment?

Some deadlines, like notice, apply to your entire claim.  But other deadlines apply specifically to medical treatment.

One of the newest deadlines that applies to medical treatment limits how long you can get medical treatment.  The Georgia legislature created this deadline in 2013.  It only applies to your case if your injury occurred after July 1, 2013.

This deadline only requires the workers compensation insurance company to pay for medical treatment that occurs within 400 weeks of your injury.  After 400 weeks, they no longer have to pay unless your case qualifies for a catastrophic designation.

400 weeks seems like a long time.  It is for most injuries.  However, serious work injuries can cause you to need medical treatment for years or the rest of your life.

What other deadlines apply to medical treatment?

Georgia law has a statute of limitations that specifically applies to medical treatment.  This statute requires the medical provider/doctor or you to submit bills for medical treatment to the insurance company within one year.  Failing to meet this deadline could mean that the insurance company gets off the hook for that medical bill.

Most of the time, the medical provider submits the bill.  Nevertheless, you need to be aware in two primary situations.

  1. If you pay the bill out of pocket, this deadline affects your ability to get reimbursement
  2. This deadline also applies to mileage reimbursement so be sure to submit your mileage reimbursement requests within one year

Doctor examining leg of patientAre there exceptions to these deadlines?

Almost all deadlines have exceptions.  The primary exception to the 400 week deadline is a catastrophic designation.  The legislature or State Board of Workers’ Compensation may create other exceptions to this deadline in the future.

One possible exception to the one year statute of limitations deadline is when a claim has been controverted or denied.  Board Rule 203(b)(1) currently provides one year from the date of a claim is accepted or found compensable to submit medical bills.

But the best thing to do is to avoid having to worry about whether you can meet the exception.  You can do this by making sure you meet all the deadlines.  Submit your medical bills within a year even if your claim has been denied.

What if I think I failed to meet one of these deadlines?

Talk to a workers compensation attorney as soon as possible.  Too many people wait when they fail to meet deadlines because they do not want to hear bad news.  Waiting can only make the problem worse.

While you may believe that you missed a deadline, sometimes you have not quite missed the deadline yet.  Talking to an attorney will help you figure that out.  Also, I have not discussed all the possible deadline exceptions in this article.  You may find out you can meet one of the exceptions.

Whether you may have missed a deadline or not, I always recommend that people talk to an attorney if they have a serious work injury.  To get treated fairly, you need to understand your rights.  That is why I provide free consultations in Georgia workers compensation claims.

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.
moombimoombi
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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