In order for an employer/insured to be eligible for reimbursement from the Subsequent Injury Trust Fund, the employee’s subsequent injury must be directly caused by the prior impairment. The employer must show that this prior impairment was permanent and likely to be a hindrance to employment. Any pre-existing, permanent condition qualifies. The condition may be derived from an automobile accident, personal injury, or an acquired or congenital disease.
For some medical conditions, the Fund has defined them as presumptive conditions. In other words, the employer/insured need not provide documentation to prove that these medical conditions are permanent and a hindrance to employment. Pursuant to Section 34-9-361 of the Official Code of Georgia, the presumptive medical conditions are defined as permanent and a hindrance to employment.
The 23 presumptive medical conditions in O.C.G.A. § 34-9-361 are:
3. Arthritis which is an obstacle or hindrance to employment or reemployment
4. Amputated foot, leg, arm or hand
5. Loss of sight of one or both eyes or a partial loss of uncorrected vision of more than 75 percent bilaterally
6. Residual disability from poliomyelitis
7. Cerebral palsy
8. Multiple sclerosis
9. Parkinson’s disease
10. Cardiovascular disorders
12. Mental retardation, provided the employee’s intelligence quotient (IQ) is such that he or she falls within the lowest two percent of the general population; provided, however, that it shall not be necessary for the employer to know the employee’s actual IQ or actual relative ranking in relation to the IQ of the general population.
13. Psychoneurotic disability following confinement for treatment in a recognized medical or mental institution for a period in excess of six months.
15. Sickle cell anemia
16. Chronic osteomyelitis
17. Ankylosis of major weight bearing joints
19. Muscular dystrophy
20. Total occupational loss of hearing as defined in Code Section 34-9-264
21. Compressed air sequelae
22. Ruptured intervertebral disc
23. Any permanent condition which, prior to the occurrence of the subsequent injury, constitutes a 20 percent impairment of a foot, leg, hand, or arm, or the body as a whole