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Workers Compensation in Georgia

Jason Metz

Georgia requires all businesses to have workers comp for employees, with only a few exceptions.

Workers comp insurance generally pays for medical bills and some of the lost income for a worker who is injured while performing a job-related task. Work injuries that can be covered might range from burns to broken bones to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Georgia workers compensation law defines the details of who must be covered and who can be exempt from coverage, as well as the limits of workers comp payments. Below are many of the specifics contained in the workers comp law in Georgia. The Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation also has a page with helpful information for employers.

Who has to be covered by Georgia workers compensation?

Can any employees opt out of Georgia workers compensation with a waiver?

Yes - corporate officers can.

Is self-insurance for workers comp allowed in Georgia?

Yes, for individual employers, groups of employers and political subdivisions. Political subdivisions in Georgia are typically the state or a city, county, special district, school district or public agency.

By self-insuring, a business assumes responsibility for paying their own workers comp claims. A self-insured company typically hires a claims service company to handle claims administration and other services.

Are there exclusions for:

Small employers? Yes, for employers that employ fewer than three employees.

Agricultural employers? No.

Domestic employers? Yes, exclusions include laborers employed in or about the business of farming, defined as the cultivation of land for the production of agricultural crops with incidental enterprises. Also specifically excluded is any person employed in connection with the raising and caring for wildlife.

Independent contractors? Yes.

Casual employees? No.

Volunteers? Yes (there has been some legislative exceptions).

Professional athletes? No.

Georgia workers comp medical benefits

Is there a Georgia workers comp fee schedule?


Fee schedules define payments for surgery, radiology, hospital services, chiropractic care, ambulance service, prescription drugs and other medical services for an injured worker.

Are there limits on medical treatment?

Yes, reasonable and necessary care, not to exceed 400 weeks from the date of injury unless catastrophic.

Who makes the initial choice of treating physician?

The employee, from a panel of six provided by the employer..

Disability payments for workers compensation insurance in Georgia

Workers comp typically pays an employee part of their salary when they cannot work because of a work-related injury. State laws outline the length of time and the payment amounts, based on both temporary and permanent disability.

How are temporary total disability (TTD) payments calculated?

66 2/3% of the employee's pre-injury weekly wage, subject to a minimum and maximum.

Weekly minimum: $50

Weekly maximum: $550

Maximum length of TDD benefits: 400 weeks, unless it is a catastrophic injury.

How are permanent total disability (PTD) payments calculated?


Weekly minimum: N/A

Weekly maximum: N/A

Are there cost of living increases for PTD payments? N/A

Maximum length of PTD benefits: N/A

How are permanent partial disability (PPD) payments calculated?

66 ⅔ of the employee's average weekly wage, subject to a minimum and maximum.

Weekly minimum: $50

Weekly maximum: $550

Fatality benefits under Georgia workers compensation law

Maximum burial benefit: $7,500

Dependency benefits, weekly minimum / maximum: $50/$550

When do children's dependency benefits end? At age 18; age 22 if the child is a student; benefits can continue if child is disabled.

Other injuries covered by Georgia workers compensation

Mental stress with no physical injury? No.

Cumulative trauma (such as injuries caused by repeated exposure or repetitive motion)? Yes.

Occupational hearing loss? Yes.

Disfigurement? No.

Source: Workers Compensation Research Institute, May 2016 report