NWCDN Members regularly post articles and summary judgements in workers’ compensations law in your state.
Select a state from the dropdown menu below to scroll through the state specific archives for updates and opinions on various workers’ compensation laws in your state.
Contact information for NWCDN members is also located on the state specific links in the event you have additional questions or your company is seeking a workers’ compensation lawyer in your state.
This year’s legislative session brought about little substantive change in our code. One anticipated change that has gone into effect are newly established caps for TTD, TPD, PPD and the maximums for Spousal dependency benefits where the surviving spouse is the sole primary beneficiary. The new established caps do apply only to dates of accident on and after July 1, 2022.
The new maximum rates for indemnity are as follows:
Also effective July 1, 2022 is a change in the maximum benefit payable to a surviving spouse with no other dependents. This figure goes from a maximum cap of $270,000.00 to $290,000.00 for dates of accident on or after July 1.
Effective July 1, 2022, there were also slight modifications to Board Rules 203 and 205. The Board approved a new peer review organization in 2021. Claims Eval is the Board’s approved peer review organization and reviews disputes between medical providers and employers and insurers regarding medical charges. Some changes were made to the process and procedures for filing for peer review.
A change was also made to the rule to clarify that all medical treatment, items, and services covered by O.C.G.A. §34-9-200 can be included in the PMT process. This latter change will be very helpful to the already successful PMT program that allows for requests and denials of certain medical procedures, items and services be done on an expedited basis.
Another note worth mentioning is the firm position that our Board continues to take on proper filing of Board forms in active claims. Adjusters and other claims handlers will be held to a high standards as it relates to required filings and, when the opportunity arises, our Administrative Law Judges remind the section of this point. Attorney’s fees and civil penalties will continue to be assessed for non-compliance issues and we should all consider ourselves on notice.
Finally, On October 19, 2021, the first Georgia Workers’ Compensation Claim involving Covid-19 in the workplace was litigated.. The claim was brought by a widower whose deceased spouse worked as a records clerk for a county jail. The ALJ issue an Award finding that in this particular claim, Covid-19 was not a compensable injury or disease under the Georgia statute. Interestingly, the claimant’s counsel argued that Covid-19 was not an occupational disease but was rather an injury leading to disease and brought on by injurious exposure. The employer’s defense revolved around the deceased’s potential community exposure, as evidenced by bank records, as well as the extensive measures taken by the County to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Although the finding was in favor of the employer in this case, the Award left open the possibility that certain jobs or positions might lend a different result, and that is important to remember, especially for our first responder and health care clients who may be facing similar claims.