Each U.S. state requires workers’ compensation coverage for employees in the event they sustain an injury at the workplace. In Georgia, this is administered through the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, providing medical and monetary assistance during an employee’s recovery.

Cropped image of a man filling out a workers’ compensation claim form 
A man filling out a workers’ compensation form

If you are a first-time business owner, navigating these laws can be challenging. It may also be difficult to insure your business, especially if it is small. Here are some common questions to ask about workers’ compensation in Georgia:

1. Is workers’ compensation coverage necessary in Georgia?

Workers’ compensation insurance is a necessity for every business operating in Georgia. As a business owner, you must ensure that all your employees are under the workers’ compensation coverage. If any of your employees aren’t covered for whatever reason, you should make plans to have them covered as soon as possible.

Up to 5 officers may receive a waiver on themselves, but they would be included in the three-person count even if they exempt themselves from coverage. It means that a non-officer on your team would also need coverage.

2. What should I know in regard to Georgia workers’ comp laws?

Each state controls the laws and regulations relating to workers’ comp coverage. The laws help clarify that employees who are protected by the coverage, the amount of compensation given, and the roles played by the employer and the worker.

If you have full and part-time workers in your business, you must ensure that workers are legally protected through insurance coverage that comprises workers’ compensation, among other covers. The insurance program’s procedure must ensure that benefits or claims are received by the injured employee.

3. How are Georgia workers’ compensation costs calculated?

The Georgia office of insurance has the coverage rates for each kind of insurance cover. Once you locate your rate from the list, it becomes easy to estimate the compensation cost. The estimated cost amounts to the total employee payroll (yearly) divided by 100 and the result is multiplied by the insurance rate.

4. Where in Georgia can I get the workers’ compensation policy?

This policy can be found in any private insurance company addressing worker’s compensation concerns within the state. You can also get the policy through other sites. 

5. Where can I have access to an exemption form?

Georgia’s State Board of Workers’ Compensation website has a list of forms you can easily and freely download, complete, and upload. Visit the site, scroll through the forms and choose one that applies to your particular situation. If you’re in doubt, you can always get in touch with customer care representatives through email or phone call.

6. Does one need cover for an independent contractor?

If the independent contractor works under your schedule and control, they are your employee, so you need to provide them with workers’ compensation insurance.

If your contractor controls themselves based on time and materials to complete a task, then technically you do not require you to cover them with insurance.

To be on the safer side, you should ensure that contract employees are under insurance cover in case injuries occur. However, as an employer, you should have proof that one is covered as long as they are working for you.

7. Does the ‘Pay as You Go’ option exist in Georgia’s workers’ compensation coverage?

Yes, this payment plan is available in Georgia. Initially, payment of workers’ compensation was based on your payment plan, which can be annual, quarterly, or biannually. The payment plan is made based on the annual employee’s payroll, but Pay as You Go is gaining popularity due to the need to pay for what you are liable for at a certain period of time.

Consider an insurance agency in Georgia to understand the workers’ compensation policies within the state. The agency must adhere to the government guidelines and must be legally licensed to offer insurance cover. You will need to check with your insurance agency to find out if it allows for this payment plan.

Workers’ compensation coverage, and the laws regulating it, vary from one state to the next. But it’s your responsibility as an employer to ensure you fulfill all the requirements to avoid getting on the wrong side of the law should your employees get an injury while at work. You may need an experienced and professional lawyer to help you understand these laws, and make arrangements to have all your employees covered.