Concurrent Similar Employment in Georgia’s Workers Comp System: Compensation for Multiple Sources of Income Loss

In Georgia, if a work injury prevents you from earning income you are entitled to receive weekly temporary total disability (TTD) benefits while you are unable to work.  Normally, the amount of TTD benefits you will receive will be 2/3 of the average amount paid to you by your employer during the 13 weeks prior to the work accident.  What happens if an individual has 2 jobs and is unable to work either job because of a work injury?  Are they able to receive compensation for losing income for both jobs?  In Georgia the answer to that question is “it depends”.

Two Prong Test

In order to receive compensation for lost of income from a second job due to a work injury, the injured worker must prove two things.  The injured must prove that the both jobs were performed concurrently and that both jobs are similar in nature.  This gives rise to the legal term “concurrent similar employment”.

Similar Employment

In order to pass this part of the test, and injured worker must show that both jobs were similar in nature.  Take for example, a person drives a bus for a school system during the week and works on the weekend driving new buses and delivering them to customers.  Since both jobs are similar in nature i.e. they both involve driving a bus, the income earned for both jobs are eligible to be used when calculating the amount of TTD benefits owed to an injured worker.

Concurrent Employment 

In the past, in order to prove concurrent employment, an injured worker was required to show that both jobs were performed at the same time during the 13 weeks prior to the work accident which caused the injury.  An example of this would be someone who worked a full-time job during the week, and worked a similar but different job on the weekends.  This is no longer the case.  Smith, Wallis and Scott attorney, Joseph W. Brown, successfully argued in front of the Supreme Court of Georgia that any similar job performed during the 13 weeks should count as concurrent employment, even if the jobs were not performed at the same time.  See Fulton County Bd. of Educ. v. Thomas, 299 Ga. 59 (2016).  Because of Mr. Brown’s hard work, it is now easier for injured workers to include lost wages from a 2nd job to increase the amount of their weekly TTD benefits in a workers’ compensation claim.

Have you or a loved one been injured at work and lost income as a result?  If so, call the lawyers at Smith, Wallis & Scott at (770) 214-2500 for help in getting the compensation you deserve.