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It’s up to the injured employee to show that she’s totally disabled due to job injury

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

Sometimes, what seems like a minor injury is exaggerated by employees who want to collect permanent workers’ compensation benefits. But there’s good news for employers. The Georgia Court of Appeals has clarified whose job it is to prove that disability.

Recent case: Lena Reid, a 66-year-old maid, applied for workers’ compensation benefits when she injured two fingers on her right hand. Surgery and physical therapy didn’t help, so she asked the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation to declare her injury catastrophic, opening the way for permanent payments.

The board agreed, based simply on her testimony that she was untrained in any work but maid service. But her former employer fought back in court, and the Court of Appeals of Georgia sided with the company.

The court said it was up to Reid to prove—with expert testimony, job applications and other efforts to get training or work—that she really was permanently blocked from gainful employment. (Reid v. Georgia Building Authority, No. A062008, Court of Appeals of Georgia, Fourth Division, 2007) 

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