Georgia Workers’ Compensation – Terminated While Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Income Benefits

Posted by Hunter Delashmit | Jul 08, 2023 | 0 Comments

What happens if your employer terminates your employment while you are entitled to receive workers' compensation income benefits?

If an injured worker is either 1) unable to work due to the work-related injury per the authorized treating physician's orders; or 2) only able to work in a light duty capacity due to the work-related injury per the authorized treating physician's orders but the employer is unable to accommodate the assigned work restrictions, the injured worker is entitled to receive workers' compensation income benefits.

Whether the injured worker remains entitled to income benefits post-termination depends upon the basis for the termination (as determined by the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”)). If the ALJ finds that the work-injury was the proximate cause of your termination, then the injured worker remains entitled to receive income benefits notwithstanding the termination. Padgett v. Waffle House Inc., 269 Ga. 105 (1998). Most likely, the employer will not explicitly state that the reason for the termination is related the work-injury but will assert some pretextual reason for terminating the injured worker.

However, if the ALJ finds that the injured worker was terminated for reasons unrelated to your work-injury, then the injured worker must conduct a diligent, but unsuccessful efforts to secure suitable employment to remain entitled to income benefits. Maloney v. Gordon County Farms, 265 Ga. 825 (1995). The ALJ may draw an inference that, despite the injured workers' good faith efforts, the injured worker's inability to obtain suitable employment was proximately caused by the injured worker's disability assigned by the authorized treating physician.

If you were injured on the job, The Delashmit Firm will work tirelessly to assist you in recovering the benefits you are entitled to under Georgia law.

About the Author

Hunter Delashmit

Hunter Delashmit is a seasoned trial attorney who lives in Cartersville, Georgia with his wife and their pit-husky mix, Dobby. After graduating from The University of Tennessee College of Law, Hunter has gained extensive experience through litigating cases in administrative, state, and federal co...


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