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   The Barnett Law Firm - Atlanta Workers Compensation Attorney  
  Who Are the Players Involved in the Workers' Comp System
 


There are many players involved in the workers’ compensation process. At The Barnett Law Firm, we can explain how each one will affect your situation and your claims.  Contact a lawyer at our Decatur law firm if you have any questions surrounding any of the following people or organizations.

State Board of Workers’ Compensation (The “State Board”) — The State Board is an administrative body created by the General Assembly to regulate and administer the workers’ compensation laws in the state of Georgia. It is composed of a three judge panel: the Chairperson of the State Board and two additional Directors appointed by the Governor. The State Board also employs numerous individuals to regulate and administer the laws. Insurers and self-insured employers are required to file periodic reports and other documents with the State Board, including reports of job injuries and notices of payment or suspension of weekly benefits.

Administrative Law Judges (“ALJs”) — ALJs are employed by the State Board. Their job is to resolve disputes between injured workers, their employers and insurance companies. They are the only judges with the authority to decide disputes concerning disability benefits, medical care or other benefits under workers’ comp laws. If the parties cannot resolve their dispute, either party may file a motion or request a hearing which an ALJ will decide.

Workers’ Compensation Carriers — These are insurance companies registered with the state, which provide employers with coverage for disability benefits, medical care and other benefits under workers’ compensation laws. If the workers’ comp laws apply, an employer is required by law to pay a premium to the
insurer and maintain this coverage.

Adjusters — These are the individuals who work for the insurance companies and are responsible for issuing disability checks, authorizing and paying for medical care and otherwise administering the workers’ compensation claim for the insurance company.

Case Managers — Sometimes referred to as rehabilitation suppliers or case nurses, these are individuals who are hired by the insurance companies to assist the adjuster by coordinating medical care and, in some cases, vocational rehabilitation or training for the injured employees. They may also get involved in expediting the injured employee’s return to work. Case managers may attend physicians’ appointments or may limit their involvement to coordinating medical care over the phone

Questions

Q1. How do I contact the State Board of Workers’ Compensation?
Its address and phone number is:

State Board of Workers’ Compensation
270 Peachtree Street, NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-1299
404-656-3818
Website: www.sbwc.georgia.gov

The State Board has branches throughout the state. You can obtain the address and phone number for the branch closest to you by contacting the State Board in Atlanta or accessing their website.

Q2. My injury is fairly minor and I don’t feel comfortable with a case manager getting involved in my medical care. Do I have to agree to case management?

Most case managers work as independent contractors for the insurance company or employer. If that is true in your claim, case management is voluntary and you are free to reject it. If they are employees of the insurance company or your employer, you may have to work with case management.

For the most severe injuries that are known as “catastrophic” injuries, case management is mandatory, but the case manager must be specially trained and licensed to manage such injuries.

Q3. Should I ever allow voluntary case management?

Sometimes injured workers need the assistance of a case manager who will work on behalf of the injured individual to speed up the delivery of medical care and help explain medical issues. There are many good case managers. Their main concern is to save money for the insurance company, but they may help you receive quality care.

If you agree to a case manager, never allow the case manager to meet alone with your doctor. Some of them may try to influence the doctor’s opinions, contrary to your best interests.

Q4. If I have any questions about my rights under workers’ comp laws, can I call the State Board for information?

The State Board is not permitted to give you legal advice. They will answer non-legal questions, but if you have any questions about your rights or obligations, contact a qualified workers’ comp attorney.

Q5. Should I provide a recorded statement to an adjuster?
Adjusters sometimes ask injured employees for a recorded statement to investigate the claim. What you say in a recorded statement may be taken out of context or otherwise used to deny your claim. You should consult with an experienced workers’ comp attorney before you give a recorded statement, or you may say something you later regret.


 

 

 

 
 

Take the first step toward protecting your rights. 
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The Barnett Law Firm
150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Ste 225,
  Decatur,  GA. 30030   •     404.378.1711 

 
 
 
 
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