2021 Georgia Code
Title 34 - Labor and Industrial Relations
Chapter 9 - Workers' Compensation
Article 6 - Payment of Compensation
Part 2 - Method of Payment
§ 34-9-226. Appointment of Guardian for Minor or Incompetent Claimant
- Except as provided in this Code section, the only person capable of representing a minor or legally incompetent claimant entitled to workers' compensation benefits shall be (1) a conservator duly appointed and qualified by the probate court of the county of residence of such minor or legally incompetent person or by any court of competent jurisdiction within this state, or (2) a conservator or the equivalent thereof duly appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction outside the State of Georgia. Such conservator shall be required to file with the board a copy of the conservatorship returns filed annually with the probate court or with a court of competent jurisdiction outside the State of Georgia and give notice to all parties within 30 days of any change in status.
- The board shall have authority in and shall establish procedures for appointing conservators for purposes of administering workers' compensation rights and benefits without such conservator becoming the legally qualified conservator of any other property, without such conservator's actions being approved by a court of record, and without the posting of a bond, in only the following circumstances:
- The board may, in its discretion, authorize and appoint a conservator of a minor or legally incompetent person to receive and administer weekly income benefits on behalf of and for the benefit of said minor or legally incompetent person;
- The board may, in its discretion, authorize and appoint a conservator of a minor or legally incompetent person to compromise and terminate any claim and receive any sum paid in settlement for the benefits and use of said minor or legally incompetent person where the net settlement amount approved by the board is less than $100,000.00; however, where the natural parent is the guardian of a minor and the settlement amount is less than $15,000.00, no board appointed conservator shall be necessary. After settlement, the board shall retain the authority to resolve disputes regarding continuing representation of a board appointed conservator of a minor or legally incompetent person; and
- If a minor or legally incompetent person does not have a duly appointed representative or conservator, the board may, in its discretion, appoint a guardian ad litem to bring or defend an action under this chapter in the name of and for the benefit of said minor or legally incompetent person. However, no guardian ad litem appointed pursuant to this Code section shall be permitted to receive the proceeds from any such action except as provided in this Code section and the board shall have the authority to determine compensation, if any, for any guardian ad litem appointed pursuant to this Code section.
(Code 1933, § 114-421, enacted by Ga. L. 1952, p. 271, § 2; Ga. L. 1963, p. 141, § 11; Ga. L. 1987, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1996, p. 1291, § 9; Ga. L. 1999, p. 817, § 5; Ga. L. 2000, p. 136, § 34; Ga. L. 2004, p. 382, § 1; Ga. L. 2011, p. 551, § 5/SB 134; Ga. L. 2012, p. 801, § 3/HB 971.)Code Commission notes.
- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2000, "the" was deleted following "action under" in paragraph (b)(3).
Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2004, "State" was substituted for "state" in subsection (a).Law reviews.
- For annual survey of law of worker's compensation, see 56 Mercer L. Rev. 479 (2004). For annual survey on wills, trusts, guardianships, and fiduciary administration, see 64 Mercer L. Rev. 325 (2012). For annual survey on workers' compensation, see 64 Mercer L. Rev. 341 (2012).
- It must be assumed that the General Assembly, in conferring the power of appointing guardians for minor claimants upon the board, intended that this power should be exercised in the same fashion or according to the same procedure as the orderly scheme of the compensation law. Utica Mut. Ins. Co. v. Rolax, 87 Ga. App. 733, 75 S.E.2d 205 (1953).Duties of guardian.
- Guardian appointed by the board to the administration of workers' compensation benefits alone should exercise in respect to those benefits the same duties which any other regularly qualified guardian would be required to exercise in the guardian's administration of a minor's estate. Utica Mut. Ins. Co. v. Rolax, 87 Ga. App. 733, 75 S.E.2d 205 (1953).
Guardian, as provided by this section, was a necessary party on appeal to the Court of Appeals from a decision of a superior court affirming the award of the director granting compensation. Utica Mut. Ins. Co. v. Rolax, 87 Ga. App. 733, 75 S.E.2d 205 (1953).Time of appointment.
- While the special guardian appointed in a workers' compensation proceeding was not appointed until the time of the award, the guardian's appointment at the time cured the defect and made such guardian a party to the case. Utica Mut. Ins. Co. v. Rolax, 87 Ga. App. 733, 75 S.E.2d 205 (1953).Appointment by single director.
- When, in a proceeding for compensation, a single director finding that the claimant was a minor within the meaning of the workers' compensation laws, and, in making an award granting compensation, appointed a guardian to receive the compensation for the use and benefit of such minor, and no such appeal as was provided for in former Code 1933, § 114-708 (see now O.C.G.A. § 34-9-103) was entered, but an appeal was entered to the superior court, such appointment was valid, binding, and conclusive. Utica Mut. Ins. Co. v. Rolax, 87 Ga. App. 733, 75 S.E.2d 205 (1953).
Cited in St. Paul-Mercury Indem. Co. v. Robinson, 88 Ga. App. 217, 76 S.E.2d 512 (1953); Ross v. Brown, 121 Ga. App. 39, 172 S.E.2d 475 (1970).
- Protection of interest or rights of minor in proceedings for, or award of, compensation under provisions of Workmen's Compensation Act, 120 A.L.R. 395.