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Berelc Law Firm, P.C. April 25, 2019

Three Workers’ Compensation Issues to Watch in 2019

Workers’ compensation insurance is a state-mandated program offered by employers to employees to pay wages and for medical care and treatment in the event, they are hurt on the job because of an accident or occupational illness. For the injured worker, the interest in filing and being awarded a workers’ compensation claim is the continuation of income while dealing with the fallout of a work-related injury. Access to medical treatment is an equally compelling need. For the employer, the interest is in returning the injured employee to work as quickly as possible without any restrictions (i.e. no lifting of boxes over 20 pounds). This post will examine four issues to watch in 2019 relating to workers’ compensation claims.

  • Affordable Healthcare: The Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land in the United States. Politically, the forces to maintain the law continue to clash with the forces at work to get rid of it. The bottom line, however, is that healthcare and the ability to access it and use it affordably is on everybody’s mind. Look for issues relating to coverage of prescriptions. The cost of medication is high for the employer and the employee. Expect to have to pay out of pocket for medications not covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

  • What is a Permanent Impairment? States across the country are working to tighten up the definition of which types of impairments, or limitations to returning to full-time work, are permanent. The American Medical Association just published its sixth edition of AMA Guides® to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. This guide starts off with the premise that the purpose of medical treatment is to restore the injured worker to prior function. For some injuries then the new impairment ratings are lower than in prior editions. The net effect of this type of analysis is that fewer claimants will be awarded permanent impairment benefits following a serious workplace accident or injury.

  • Changing Employer Health Model: Many employers have made the business finding that an employee’s health directly correlates with productivity. The same employers also see a strong relationship with safety and safety training as a method to prevent on-the-job injuries. The goal of these two objectives is the same — a healthy workforce. Employers, like the Camden County Government and QuickTrip, offer employees on-site or near-site health and wellness clinics as the first line of preventive care and treatment management to keep medical costs down and maintain a healthy workforce.

Hurt on the Job?

The Lavonia workers’ compensation attorneys at the Berelc Law Firm are available to discuss with you your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits following a job-related injury or illness. Call us today to schedule a review of your case. A workers’ compensation attorney can take the burden of your claim off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on healing and getting back on your feet. You can also book your appointment online.

The Berelc Law Firm assists injured people throughout north Georgia, including Lavonia, Hartwell, Carnesville, Royston, Elberton, Danielsville, Toccoa, Commerce, Comer, Colbert, Bowman, Clarkesville, Athens, Augusta, Hart County, Franklin County, Stephens County, Elbert County, Banks County, Madison County, Oglethorpe County, Clarke County, Richmond County, and Columbia County.