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These guidelines were prepared to help supervisors understand the Georgia Workers' Compensation Act and the procedures to follow when an employee has a work-related injury or illness.

If you have questions or need assistance, please call or e-mail:

Robert Alford ~ Direct Line (678) 493-6019 ~ Mobile (770) 547-9293 ~


What is Workers' Compensation?

Worker’ Compensation is designed to be a "no-fault" form of insurance. The Georgia Workers' Compensation Act is state-mandated. The purpose of Workers' Compensation is to provide income benefits and medical treatment to all employees who are either injured or develop a job-related illness as a result of their employment. Benefits may include:

  • Medical treatment

  • Temporary Total Disability payments (TTD)

  • Temporary Partial Disability payments (TPD)

  • Permanent Partial Disability payments (PPD)

  • Death benefits


The goal of Workers' Compensation is to provide appropriate medical care and to return the employee back to productive work as soon as medically possible.


What is a Work- Related Injury?

INJURY- Any injury or disease arising out of (injury related to employees work) and in the course of employment (employee is where he/she is expected to be). The injury may result from either trauma or disease/illness. Injuries are categorized in three ways:

(1) SPECIFIC– Any injury to one or more parts of the body resulting from a specific accident/incident.

(2) CUMULATIVE – An injury resulting from repetitive activities over a period of time (for example exposure to chemicals or other non-trauma causes).

(3) AGGRAVATION – A pre-existing condition or non-work-related condition aggravated by an occupational injury or disease. The employer provides medical treatment until the employee returns to the pre-injury status of the pre-existing condition


Who is Covered by Workers' Compensation and When?

WHO – All employees to include part time and volunteer firefighters.

WHEN – Workers' Compensation coverage begins the first day an employee is on the job and continues any time an employee is on the job and providing a job related service at the time of the injury.


When an Injury or Illness Occurs

Ensure the employee is provided medical treatment from a Doctor or Provider listed on the posted Panel of Physicians unless the accident requires immediate emergency care or medical treatment is needed after hours. All follow-up appointments MUST be with a “Panel Doctor”.

Cherokee County’s Third Party Administrator (Key Risk) should be billed directly for medical services. Should the employee receive any medical bills, please send to Robert Alford in Human Resources.

 *Supervisors MUST report all work-related deaths, serious injuries or illnesses IMMEDIATELY to :

Robert Alford ~ Human Resources Manager ~ Mobile (770) 547-9293

A serious injury or illness is one that requires inpatient hospitalization, or an injury where an employee suffers a loss of any member of the body or suffers serious or permanent disfigurement.


How Are Injuries Reported?

Supervisors complete the required Workers’ Compensation forms and immediately fax/email these forms to

Robert Alford ~ Human Resources Manager ~ Email ~ Fax (678) 493-6017

  • Use the online County Workers’ Compensation Packet to report an injury, illness or exposure. These forms are found on the county INTRANET site under Human Resources common forms.
  • First aid treatment may be appropriate treatment and is not considered “medical treatment”.
  • If medical treatment exceeds first aid treatment at the initial or subsequent medical visits, HR will submit a SBWC First Report of Injury form (WC-1) to Key Risk. The Sheriff’s Office and Fire/ES HR personnel will submit the WC-1 for their personnel directly to Key Risk


Key Risk Management Services, LLC is the county’s Third Party Administrator (TPA). They provide Workers’ Compensation claim administration services and files the appropriate forms with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC). A Key Risk claims adjuster will discuss the claim with the employee, the medical provider and investigate the injury to determine the compensability of the claim. Key Risk may also contact the supervisor. Please provide any information requested. This may include: job description, witness names and/or details of the accident.

Reporting an injury or submission of a claim form does not imply automatic approval of the claim. Claim compensability is reviewed and only approved by Key Risk.


Lost Time Injuries

Injured county employees are paid for absences of up to seven calendar days per the County PPM sec.4.8.5. However under the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act there is a 7 calendar day waiting period before temporary total benefits start. After 7 calendar lost work days, county employees will be paid according to the schedule of benefits provided by the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act. 

When a Claim is Accepted

Once a claim is accepted, Key Risk will issue checks for any temporary total disability payments, temporary partial disability, permanent partial disability and medical or expense payments (hospital ,ER, Doctor, etc.) related to the claim. 

If the employee’s Authorized Treating Physician (ATP) indicates the employee is unable to work or the department cannot accommodate the work restrictions provided by the Doctor, Key Risk will mail a temporary total disability check to the employee according to the Workers’ Comp schedule of benefits.

The Workers’ Compensation amount is two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wage, up to a weekly maximum amount determined by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. A letter confirming that the claim has been approved will accompany the check.

If an employee is working a reduced schedule or working for less money, due to the work-related injury or illness, the State Board of Workers’ Compensation benefit amount is 2/3 of the difference between the employees Average Weekly Wage and the post injury wage rate. The AWW is calculated based on the employees average weekly wage (AWW) > average of the employees pay 13 weeks prior to the date of the injury.

At any time, you may contact Robert Alford (678-493-6019) in the Human Resources Department regarding any questions regarding the injured employee’s work status.

Procedures for Pending Claims

A decision on a compensable claim sometimes may be delayed by Key Risk.

If more time is needed to make a decision, Key Risk will notify the employee stating the date a decision will be made.  

Once a decision is made on a claim, Key Risk will inform the employee.


Procedures for Denied Claims

If a claim is denied, Key Risk will notify the employee explaining why the claim has been denied and will file the appropriate forms (WC-1 sec C) within 21 days to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.

Important Points to Remember

  • Employees are to report all injuries to their supervisor immediately
  • Report to Robert Alford any changes in the work status of an employee, especially if an injured employee starts to lose time after returning to work.
  • If an employee has been out of work, ensure the employee receives a medical release from the Doctor (ATP) before allowing the employee to return to work.
  • If at all possible depending on the work restrictions, the county will make every effort to provide Light-duty/Transitional Duty work for the employee until they are able to return to work with no restrictions.
  • All medical documentation and any bills the employee might receive should be sent to Robert Alford.
  • For information on Workers' Compensation, refer to the County Personnel Policies Manual (sec 4.8) or Robert Alford for more detailed information.

Key Risk Claims Professionals

Claims Adjuster (Lost Time > 7 days) 

Key Risk will determine the compensability of all Workers’ Compensation claims and ensure that an injured employee receives all Workers’ Compensation benefits due.

Claims Adjuster (Medical Only)

All claims- less than 7 days, no indemnity expense and less than $2,000 in medical expense. 

Human Resources Contacts

If you have questions or need additional assistance please contact:

Robert Alford ~ Email ~ Direct Line (678) 493-6019


Workers' Compensation Guide for Supervisors: Click Here

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