2020 Georgia Code
Title 34 - Labor and Industrial Relations
Chapter 9 - Workers' Compensation
Article 6 - Payment of Compensation
Part 3 - Limitations on Payment
§ 34-9-243. Effect of Payments Made When Not Due; Employer Credit or Reduction for Employer Funded Payments Pursuant to Disability Plan

Universal Citation: GA Code § 34-9-243 (2020)
  1. The payment by the employer or the employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier to the employee or to any dependent of the employee of any benefit when not due or of salary or wages or any benefit paid under Chapter 8 of this title, the "Employment Security Law," during the employee's disability shall be credited against any payments of weekly benefits due; provided, however, that such credit shall not exceed the aggregate amount of weekly benefits due under this chapter.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this Code section or in a collective bargaining agreement, the employer's obligation to pay or cause to be paid weekly benefits under Code Section 34-9-261 or 34-9-262 shall be reduced by the employer funded portion of payments received or being received by the employee pursuant to a disability plan, a wage continuation plan, or from a disability insurance policy established or maintained by the same employer from whom benefits under Code Section 34-9-261 or 34-9-262 are claimed if the employer did contribute directly to such a plan or policy. The employer funded portion shall be based upon the ratio of the employer's contributions to the total contributions to such plan or policy.
  3. The credit or reduction of benefits provided in subsection (b) of this Code section shall only be made for those amounts which the employee is entitled to, has received, or is receiving during any period in which benefits under Code Section 34-9-261 or 34-9-262 are claimed.
  4. The State Board of Workers' Compensation shall promulgate rules for establishing proof of the existence of other benefits.The employer, its insurance carrier, and the employee shall freely release information to each other and the State Board of Workers' Compensation that is material and relevant to the existence of benefits which may be coordinated with entitlements and obligations under this chapter.
  5. The employer or insurance carrier taking a credit or making a reduction as provided in this Code section shall immediately report to the State Board of Workers' Compensation the amount of any credit or reduction and, as requested by the board, furnish to the board satisfactory proof of the basis for a credit or reduction.
  6. Subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section shall not apply to payments made to an employee under Code Section 34-9-263 for any permanent partial disability.

(Ga. L. 1920, p. 167, § 41; Ga. L. 1931, p. 7, § 108; Code 1933, § 114-415; Ga. L. 1978, p. 2220, § 7; Ga. L. 1990, p. 1409, § 12; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1942, § 20; Ga. L. 1996, p. 1291, § 10; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1508, § 7.)

Law reviews.

- For review of 1998 legislation relating to labor and industrial relations, see 15 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 185 (1998). For annual survey article discussing workers' compensation law, see 52 Mercer L. Rev. 505 (2000). For article, "Workers' Compensation," see 53 Mercer L. Rev. 521 (2001). For annual survey of workers' compensation law, see 57 Mercer L. Rev. 419 (2005). For survey article on workers' compensation law, see 60 Mercer L. Rev. 433 (2008). For note on the 1992 amendment of this Code section, see 9 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 285 (1992).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Credit allowed for payments made either before or after award.

- This section did not limit the credit allowable to payments made to an employee only after an award had been made. It clearly allows credit for payments made to an employee during the period of the employee's disability, whether made before or after an award. Sprayberry v. Commercial Union Ins. Co., 140 Ga. App. 758, 232 S.E.2d 111 (1976).

Overpayments made outside two-year period of § 34-9-245. - State Board of Workers' Compensation properly held that an employer was entitled to a credit for overpayments made to a claimant, but only for those made within the two years prior to the employer's request for reimbursement; O.C.G.A. § 34-9-245 was intended as a statute of repose, and thus giving the employer credit for overpayments made more than two years before its request for reimbursement would allow offsets against future payments when there was no legally cognizant basis for reimbursement. Renu Thrift Store, Inc. v. Figueroa, 286 Ga. App. 455, 649 S.E.2d 528 (2007), cert. dismissed, 2007 Ga. LEXIS 812 (Ga. 2007).

Payments made pursuant to other state's law.

- Insurer may receive credit for payments made to an injured employee pursuant to the laws of another state which state did not have jurisdiction to authorize such payments. Sprayberry v. Commercial Union Ins. Co., 140 Ga. App. 758, 232 S.E.2d 111 (1976).

Calculation of the credit under O.C.G.A. § 34-9-243(b) should be based on the net amount of disability benefits which the employee receives, not on the gross amount of disability benefits which the employer has paid. Georgia Forestry Comm'n v. Taylor, 241 Ga. App. 151, 526 S.E.2d 373 (1999).

Employer and insurance carrier are entitled to credit for any payments of compensation made in excess of the amount due the claimant under the original award on an award made to a claimant on the bases of disability of claimant on date application filed for hearing on a change of condition. Ingram v. Bituminous Cas. Corp., 109 Ga. App. 87, 134 S.E.2d 861 (1964).

Board action in giving credit for wages paid to claimant during claimant's disability is authorized. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co. v. Thomas, 145 Ga. App. 303, 243 S.E.2d 694 (1978).

Credit for salary.

- Employer was entitled to credit for the salary received by the claimant after the claimant stopped working to be applied against the compensation award. Walton County Bd. of Comm'rs v. Williams, 171 Ga. App. 779, 320 S.E.2d 846 (1984).

Employer's benefit plan payments.

- One-time payment under employer's employment benefit plan could not be credited against workers' compensation benefits under O.C.G.A. § 34-9-243. Southern Bell Tel. & Tel. Co. v. Hodges, 164 Ga. App. 757, 298 S.E.2d 570 (1982).

Credit for a "disability retirement" plan is not allowed under O.C.G.A. § 34-9-243(b). City of Waycross v. Holmes, 272 Ga. 488, 532 S.E.2d 90 (2000).

Res judicata on disability credits.

- Because the employer did not raise the issue of credit for disability plan payments and did not appeal from the award of benefits by an administrative law judge at a workers' compensation hearing, the award was res judicata on the issue of credit for disability plan payments. Webb v. City of Atlanta, 228 Ga. App. 278, 491 S.E.2d 492 (1997).

Superior court properly upheld a second ALJ's ruling that an employer was foreclosed from raising a claim for a credit for 20 weeks of wages already paid to the claimant, under O.C.G.A. § 34-9-243, as the employer was entitled to raise the issue no later than ten days prior to the original compensation hearing, and the issue could and should have been adjudicated, but was not, making it res judicata. Vought Aircraft Indus. v. Faulds, 281 Ga. App. 338, 636 S.E.2d 75 (2006).

No burden on employer to show entitlement to credit.

- Employee who prevailed on a workers' compensation claim for TTD was only entitled to the difference between the TTD due and the TPD benefits already paid by the employer; the employer was not required to prove that the employer was entitled to a credit under O.C.G.A. § 34-9-243. N. Fulton Reg'l Hosp. v. Pearce-Williams, 312 Ga. App. 388, 718 S.E.2d 583 (2011).

Burden on employer.

- Because an employee used the employee's vacation, personal, and sick leave time because the employee was unable to work due to a compensable injury, and the employee was unaware that the employee was entitled to workers' compensation benefits, after determining that the employee was entitled to temporary total disability income benefits, a credit to the employer was denied under O.C.G.A. § 34-9-243(b), as the employer failed to meet its burden of showing that it was entitled to such a credit for employer-funded payments under a disability plan, wage continuation plan, or disability insurance policy, or that the employee was paid the employee's regular wages pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 34-9-220. Glisson v. Rooms To Go, 270 Ga. App. 689, 608 S.E.2d 50 (2004).

Cited in Fidelity & Cas. Co. v. Leckie, 52 Ga. App. 591, 183 S.E. 642 (1935); Davis v. Cobb County, 106 Ga. App. 336, 126 S.E.2d 710 (1962); Fireman's Fund Ins. Co. v. Crowder, 123 Ga. App. 469, 181 S.E.2d 530 (1971); Mason v. City of Atlanta, 124 Ga. App. 849, 186 S.E.2d 285 (1971); Dodgen v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 138 Ga. App. 499, 227 S.E.2d 64 (1976); GMC v. Dover, 143 Ga. App. 819, 240 S.E.2d 201 (1977); Seaboard Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Smith, 146 Ga. App. 893, 247 S.E.2d 607 (1978); Howard v. Alfrey, 697 F.2d 1006 (11th Cir. 1983); K-Mart Corp. v. Anderson, 166 Ga. App. 421, 304 S.E.2d 526 (1983); Caldwell v. Perry, 179 Ga. App. 682, 347 S.E.2d 286 (1986); Horizon Indus., Inc. v. Carter, 188 Ga. App. 194, 372 S.E.2d 301 (1988).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Workmen's compensation: right to credit for amounts paid under invalid settlement or compromise, 10 A.L.R. 1016.

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