Georgia Senate Approves HB 154 on March 12, 2013

It would appear that the latest amendments to the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act are very close to being enacted. The Senate unanimously passed House Bill 154 with a vote of 45-0 on March 12, 2013. We anticipate that the current version of the bill will be signed by Governor Deal and will go into effect on July 1, 2013. Again, the changes are summarized as follows:

1) Limitation of medical treatment for 400 weeks after the injury for non-catastrophic injuries;

2) Provide a 15-day time-frame in which mileage must be reimbursed;

3) Reduce the annual percentage rate for lump-sum payments and advances to 5% (down from 7%);

4) Require an employee who attempts a light-duty job under O.C.G.A. Sec. 34-9-240 to attempt the proffered job for eight cumulative hours or one workday;

5) Increase the maximum temporary total disability rate to $525.00 per week (up from $500.00)’ and,

6) Increase the maximum temporary partial disability rate to $350.00 per week (up from $334.00).