July 1, 2019 Amendments to Georgia Workers’ Compensation Law

By: Ann Bishop, Esq.

Here is a copy of Senate Bill 135 which passed and was signed into law by Governor Kemp and which went into effect on Monday, July 1, 2019.  The amendments made some changes to the office of Director Emeritus of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and to the position of Administrative Law Judge Emeritus.

However, the primary changes of concern to you are the changes to O.C.G.A. § 34-9-200, 261, 262 and 265.  The change to O.C.G.A. § 34-9-200 removed the 400 week cap in non-catastrophic claims on medical benefits for prosthetic devices, spinal cord stimulators or intrathecal pump devices and durable medical equipment, orthotics, eye glasses, or hearing aids which were originally provided during the initial 400 weeks.  This change was made retroactive by its terms and applies to injuries arising on or after July 1, 2013.  In addition, changes to O.C.G.A. § 34-9-261 increased the maximum temporary total rate to $675.00.  O.C.G.A. § 34-9-262 was amended to increase the maximum temporary partial rate to $450.00.  O.C.G.A. § 34-9-265 was amended to increase the maximum death benefits which may be received by a surviving spouse as a sole dependent to $270,000.00.

Please let our Workers’ Compensation team at Hall Booth Smith know if you have any questions regarding the amendments, which took effect July 1, 2019.  We will be happy to help address those concerns.

Copy of the bill: