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Check accuracy of workers’ comp calculations to avoid penalties

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

Georgia employers who make mistakes when calculating workers’ compensation benefits can’t go back more than two years to recoup overpayments. You also can’t just stop paying workers’ comp to “correct” overpaym

That’s why it is important to make sure you provide the correct base-earnings history to your workers’ comp carrier. If your company is self-insured, you’ll need to work from similarly accurate calculations to figure what payments it needs to make into your self-insurance fund.

Recent case: Deisey Figueroa was hurt while working at the Renu Thrift Store. She began collecting benefits in September 2000. But Renu had miscalculated her previous earnings, and overpaid her $23,000 by the time it discovered the error in January 2005.

That’s when Renu stopped paying Figueroa and tried to recover the overpayments. But that move landed the company in big trouble.

The State Board of Workers’ Compensation said Renu couldn’t unilaterally stop payments, and could under no circumstances go back more than two years to collect overpayments. Renu had to fork over a 15% penalty for making incorrect payments in the first place. And it had to pay Figueroa’s attorneys’ fees to boot. (Renu Thrift Store v. Figueroa, No. A071116, Court of Appeals of Georgia, Third Division, 2007)

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