I was hurt on the job, and my employer is saying that I need to use up my sick leave before they'll kick in workers’ comp. Hello. My name is Ty Wilson. I'm a Georgia workers compensation attorney practicing Law in the state of Georgia, and a question for today is Do I have to use my sick leave instead of going on workers Comp? And the short answer is no, you don't have to, but it may be beneficial for you, too. And let me explain why.
So if you're injured on the job and you're unable to return back to work, at least for a short period of time at that point in time, the first seven days workers’ Comp does not have to pay you anything. After 21 days of being out of work consecutively, they are required to pay you for that first seven. So the first seven days, so they'll catch up over the course of 28 days, and then they'll pay you weekly weekly income benefits.
Now, those weekly income benefits, though, are calculated at a discounted rate. And what I mean by that is they take your average weekly wage and then they pay you 67% of it. Now they don't take taxes out. However, it's still going to be two thirds of your average weekly wage, and it's capped currently under Georgia law to cap at 675 per week. That changes from time to time and is changing rather often lately. So you may want to check after you see this video and see if in fact it has changed again. But currently, 675 is the maximum that someone is receiving in Georgia for a work injury under the workers compensation system.
Once again, if you use your sick leave, likely that will be just like you had a paycheck. Now you will be using up your sick leave. That's the downside of it. But the upside of it is you will make your full paycheck versus the reduced amount from workers comp. If you're seriously injured, you may not be returning back. You may want to use that sick leave and maximize the amount of money that you can receive. Once you use up your sick leave, then you can kick into workers compensation and get the reduced rate at least at that point in time.
You can try to do some more planning as if you're seriously injured, you're probably going to be out for a considerable amount of time. Certainly it depends on how much sick leave you have and so forth, but you want to use it strategically if you can. And so if you use up your sick leave, then workers compensation should kick in. And from that point on, you'll continue to receive those income benefits as long as you're out of work completely or on light duty restrictions and the employer cannot accommodate your restrictions. I hope this information has been helpful and we'll see you on the next video. Thank you.