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Ask A Georgia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer: What Are The Eligibility Guidelines?

A workers compensation lawyer will tell you that the first question you need to ask after suffering an injury on the job is, does your employer carry workers’ compensation insurance? According to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation, all businesses with three or more workers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.

If you are unsure about your workers’ compensation eligibility or whether or not your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can help. We invite you to take advantage of our firm’s free initial consultation where a professional workers compensation lawyer will verify your employer’s coverage as well as your right to receive benefits.

Who is not eligible for workers’ compensation in Georgia?

As mentioned above, employers with three or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Those who are generally not covered under Georgia workers’ compensation laws include the following workers:

  • U.S. government employees
  • Farm laborers
  • Domestic servants
  • Railroad workers
  • Those who are self-employed

Are both injuries and illnesses covered under workers’ compensation? 

The short answer is yes – both injuries and illnesses are covered under workers’ compensation insurance. In regard to illnesses, the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation Employee Handbook states that if a disease meets certain tests imposed by the law, then an employee can be compensated for that disease. However, a good workers compensation lawyer will know there must be a relationship between the disease and the worker’s employment, i.e., the worker’s employment must be a cause of the disease.


For covered injuries, the state of Georgia generally has two different ways to classify accidents: catastrophic and non-catastrophic.

Injuries resulting from both catastrophic & non-catastrophic accidents are covered, but different benefit types may be paid.

Examples of catastrophic injuries that are covered under workers’ compensation include:

  • Amputations
  • Severe paralysis
  • Severe head injuries
  • Severe burns
  • Blindness
  • Injuries severe enough to prevent employees from returning to work

Non-catastrophic injuries are most other types of injuries; that is, injuries which do not permanently and totally prevent an injured worker from returning to some type of work.

Other Situations Affecting Workers’ Compensation Eligibility 

If the injury or illness was self-induced or caused intentionally, caused by the worker’s drug or alcohol intoxication or impairment, or was caused by willful misconduct, then workers’ compensation benefits may be denied.


If your employer denies your claim and argues that you were impaired at the time of the accident. However, if your alleged impairment was not the cause of your accident, then you may request a hearing with help from an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.

In summary, you will likely be eligible for Georgia workers’ compensation benefits assuming you:

  • were not intoxicated or otherwise impaired at the time of the accident;
  • did not intentionally cause the accident;
  • are employed by an employer who carries workers’ compensation insurance; and
  • have incurred an injury or occupational disease that is the result of your job.

Our Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help You 

Understanding eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits can be confusing, especially if you work for a small company or are unsure whether or not your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance. You might have questions about your injury being covered, particularly if it happened during work hours but off of the job site.

For answers to all your legal questions regarding workers’ compensation eligibility and how to apply, the workers compensation lawyers at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, can help you. To meet with our legal team today, call 678-562-5595 to schedule your free consultation.

Seth Bader
(678) 562-5595