Under Georgia workers compensation rules, an employee who gets injured on the job but continues to work should not be penalized. For example, an employee sustains a neck and back injury while on the job in 2001. The employee receives medical treatment for his injuries but continues to work. In fact, the employee continues treatment regularly with his physicians for his neck and back pain during the time he is working for his employer. Then, in 2006, the employee’s physician recommends that the employee no longer work because his condition has progressed and worsened since his accident in 2001. The employee finds he is no longer able to work five years after the accident that hurt his neck and back.
It is well established in Georgia that if an employee continues to perform his duties until he is forced to stop work because of the gradual worsening of his condition, that employee may be granted a new date of injury when his disability begins. The gradual worsening of the condition must be at least partly attributable to the physical activity in continuing to work for the employer after the original injury. In the eyes of the law, it is unfair to penalize the employee for continuing to work despite his injury. Therefore, the law allows for a new fictional date of injury which is the date the disability begins. In the example above, the employee would have “suffered a new injury” in 2006 when his doctor recommended that he no longer work. Under this rule, the employee will have the opportunity to obtain his full income benefits.