Let’s imagine for a moment that an employee is injured on the job on March 25, 2003. At that time, the employee’s wife was pregnant. The child was born on August 5, 2003. The injured employee dies on September 1, 2003. Would the newborn child be entitled to dependency benefits?
Yes. While an employer will argue that the child is not a dependent because the child was not born before the date of the employee’s accident, the law states that a child includes dependent stepchildren, legally adopted children, posthumous children, and acknowledged children born out of wedlock. Therefore, the courts have announced that any biological unborn children born after the employee’s accident are considered dependents and entitled to receive dependency benefits.
On the same note, other states, including North Carolina, have stated that a child is no less the child of its father because it was born after his death. In other words, any unborn child whether it is born before or after the employee/father dies is entitled to benefits. This exact issue of whether an unborn child can receive benefits if born after the death of its father has not been decided before the Georgia Appellate Courts.