2021 Georgia Code
Title 34 - Labor and Industrial Relations
Chapter 9 - Workers' Compensation
Article 8 - Compensation for Occupational Disease
Part 1 - General Provisions
§ 34-9-281. Prerequisites to Compensation for Occupational Disease

Universal Citation: GA Code § 34-9-281 (2021)
  1. Where the employer and employee are subject to this chapter, the disablement or death of an employee resulting from an occupational disease shall be treated as the occurrence of an injury by accident; and the employee or, in the case of his or her death, the employee's dependents shall be entitled to compensation as provided by this chapter. The practice and procedure prescribed in this chapter shall apply to all the proceedings under this article except as otherwise provided.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, an employer shall be liable for compensation under this article only where:
    1. The disease arose out of and in the course of the employment in which the employee was engaged under such employer, was contracted while the employee was so engaged, and has resulted from a hazard characteristic of the employment in excess of the hazards of such disease attending employment in general; and
    2. The claim for disablement is filed within one year after the date the employee knew or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have known of the disablement and its relationship to the employment; but in no event shall the claim for disablement be filed in excess of seven years after the last injurious exposure to the hazard of such disease in such employment; provided, however, that an employee with asbestosis or mesothelioma related to exposure to asbestos shall have one year from the date of first disablement after diagnosis of such disease to file a claim for disablement. In cases of death where the cause of action was not barred during the employee's life, the claim must be filed within one year of the date of death.

(Code 1933, § 114-801, enacted by Ga. L. 1946, p. 103; Ga. L. 1963, p. 141, § 17; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 34; Ga. L. 1982, p. 2485, §§ 3, 9; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 25; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1474, § 2; Ga. L. 1991, p. 1586, § 1; Ga. L. 2004, p. 631, § 34.)

Cross references.

- Time limitations for filing claims under chapter generally, § 34-9-82.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1991, a comma was inserted following "provided" in the first sentence of paragraph (b)(2).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1987, p. 1474, § 17, not codified by the General Assembly, provided that that Act would apply to any occupational disease not previously diagnosed before July 1, 1987.

Ga. L. 1991, p. 1586, § 2, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that this amendment shall not operate to revive any claim barred prior to July 1, 1991.

Law reviews.

- For article, "Occupational Diseases Under the Georgia Workmen's Compensation Act," see 8 Mercer L. Rev. 333 (1957). For note, "Dust in the Wind: Revisiting Georgia's Refusal to Extend Liability to Employers in Take-Home Asbestos Litigation,” see 53 Ga. L. Rev. 1169 (2019).



  • General Consideration
  • Statute of Limitations


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 82 Am. Jur. 2d, Workers' Compensation, § 290 et seq.


- 100A C.J.S., Workers' Compensation, § 1158.


- Constitutionality of statute requiring protection against occupational or industrial diseases and accidents with respect to definiteness and completeness, 99 A.L.R. 613.

Workmen's compensation as covering disease contracted by employee while on street or in traveling, 141 A.L.R. 806.

When limitations period begins to run as to claim for disability benefits for contracting of disease under Workers' Compensation or Occupational Diseases Act, 86 A.L.R.5th 295.

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