Total Disability

Total disability benefits are payable to individuals who are totally incapacitated with total economic loss due to compensable on-the-job injuries. Georgia Code § 34-9-220 establishes that no compensation is allowed for the first seven calendar days of incapacity resulting from an injury, but compensation will be paid for such first seven calendar days of incapacity if an employee is incapacitated for 21 consecutive days following an injury. 

Unlike partial disability cases, a total disability involves an employee being completely unable to return to work in any capacity. Certain total disability benefits may be payable for the life of a victim.

Lawyer for Total Disability in Atlanta, GA

Did you or your loved one suffer an injury in an accident on the job in Georgia that has left you totally disabled? You will want to contact The Balams Firm as soon as possible. 

Atlanta personal injury attorney ReShea Balams represents clients involved in workers’ compensation claims in Norcross, Alpharetta, Roswell, College Park, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Duluth, Lawrenceville, Marietta, East Point, Decatur, Milton, Forest Park, Smyrna, Johns Creek, Riverdale, and several other surrounding areas. 

Call (404) 445-2005 right now to have our lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free, no-obligation consultation.

Overview of Total Disability in Georgia

Back to top

Temporary vs. Permanent Total Disability Benefits in Atlanta

While total disability benefits are provided to individuals who are entirely incapable of returning to work, the disability can be either temporary or permanent. Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are paid to employees who are totally disabled as the result of workplace injuries, or when an employer cannot provide light duty restrictions. 

TTD benefits are payable during all time the employee is unable to work and end when an employee reaches a stage of maximum medical improvement (MMI). Permanent total disability benefits are generally recoverable only after an employee has proven a permanent total disability and may be payable for the life of an employee. 

Under Georgia Code § 34-9-263(e), loss of both arms, hands, legs, or feet, or any two or more of these members, or the permanent total loss of vision in both eyes creates a rebuttable presumption of permanent total disability compensable as provided in Georgia Code § 34-9-261. 

Permanent total disability claims typically involve catastrophic injuries such as amputations, severe paralysis, severe head injuries, severe burns, blindness, or injuries of a nature and severity that prevents the employee from being able to perform his or her prior work and any work available in substantial numbers within the national economy.

Back to top

Calculating Total Disability Benefits in Fulton County, GA

Georgia Code § 34-9-261 establishes that when the disability to work resulting from an injury is temporarily total, the employer must pay the employee a weekly benefit equal to two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage (AWW) up to $575 per week. The benefit cannot be less than $50 per week, unless the employee’s weekly wage was below $50, in which case the employer must pay a weekly benefit equal to the AWW. 

Temporary total disability benefits are payable for up to 400 weeks from the date of injury. Permanent total disability benefits may be payable for life. 

Under Georgia Code § 34-9-260, an injured employee’s average weekly wage (AWW) at the time of the injury is determined as follows: 

  • When an injured employee worked during substantially the whole of 13 weeks immediately preceding his or her injury, the AWW is one-thirteenth of the total amount of wages he or she earned in such employment during the 13 weeks; 
  • When an injured employee has not worked in such employment during substantially the whole of 13 weeks immediately preceding the injury, the wages of a similar employee in the same employment who has worked substantially the whole of such 13 weeks shall be used in making the AWW determination; or 
  • When neither of the aforementioned methods can be reasonably and fairly applied, the full-time weekly wage of the injured employee shall be used.

Back to top

Total Disability Resources in Georgia

Georgia Code § 34-9-261. Compensation for total disability — Under this statute, an employer must pay weekly benefits to employees who have suffered temporary total disabilities to work as the result of injuries sustained on the job. The benefit must be equal to two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage up to $575 per week but cannot be less than $50 per week, unless the weekly wage is below $50. The weekly benefit is payable for up to 400 weeks from the date of injury, except that the weekly benefit for a catastrophic injury must be paid until the employee undergoes a change in condition for the better. 

Summary of Workers’ Compensation Provisions | State Board of Workers’ Compensation — View a full table of workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia. You can see the waiting period, maximum weekly benefit, and percent of average weekly wage attributable to total disability cases. You can also view the minimum weekly benefit and maximum weekly duration from the date of the injury.

Back to top

Find a Total Disability Attorney in Atlanta, GA

If you or your loved one sustained injuries in an accident on the job in Georgia that have left you totally disabled, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. You will want to contact The Balams Firm as soon as possible. 

ReShea Balams is an experienced personal injury lawyer in Atlanta who helps individuals in communities throughout Clayton County, DeKalb County, Cobb County, Fulton County, and Gwinnett County.

You can have our attorney provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (404) 445-2005 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.

Back to top


  • 5 stars
    The Balams Firm did a wonderful job handling my personal injury case. I was able to get in touch with ReShea the day after my accident and she was very understanding and helped me find the care that I needed to address my specific needs.
    - Jazmyn F.
  • 5 stars
    Very professional attorney and team. Very responsive and kept me abreast of the process the entire time.
    - Anthony J.
  • 5 stars
    ReShea and I have litigated against each other for years and she very quickly earned my respect for her competency and professionalism. Since, I have referred many clients to her and they have all been exceptionally happy with her results and service.
    - LeRyan L.
  • 5 stars
    The Balams Law Firm hands down in the best in Atlanta. I had a injury at a hotel in Atlanta and I called 5 law firms, 3 of them being the big named ones you see on tv radio and they would not take me as a client. I found their number on google and talked to them and they took my case.
    - Brandon N.
Read More Stories