Any party dissatisfied with a decision of an administrative law judge (ALJ) may appeal that decision, within twenty (20) days of the date on the ALJ’s final award or order, to the Board’s Appellate Division. The Appellate Division has original appellate jurisdiction in all workers’ compensation cases. (All appeals from an ALJ decision must first be filed with the Appellate Division before an appeal can be filed with any other court.) The Appellate Division consists of a Chairperson and two (2) other Board members, collectively referred to as the Board’s Directors, who serve as appellate administrative law judges.
Appearance before the Appellate Division shall be by written brief only for the Appellate Division’s review and consideration unless a timely request for oral argument is made by an appropriate party. When such a request is made, an oral argument date will be set within approximately (60) days of the filing of the underlying appeal. Board rules limit oral arguments to five (5) minutes for each party.
Once an appeal has been presented at oral argument and/or by brief, the Appellate Division will consider the evidence in the record and the parties’ arguments and subsequently issue a decision. By statute, the Appellate Division shall accept the ALJ’s findings of fact where such findings are supported by a preponderance of competent and credible evidence contained within the record.
An appeal to the Appellate Division shall be filed electronically through ICMS. Parties without access to ICMS may file a Notice of Appeal and Enumerations of Error in paper with any Board office by hand delivery or mail. An appeal filed by mail will be deemed filed on the date it is received by the Board, or the official postmark date if mailed by registered mail, certified mail, or statutory overnight delivery. (O.C.G.A. § 34-9-100(e); O.C.G.A. § 34-9-103; Board Rule 103).
An appeal may be filed at the following address:
State Board of Workers’ Compensation
Attn: Clerk’s Office, Appellate Division
270 Peachtree Street, N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30303-1299
Please note the appellate procedure set forth in O.C.G.A. § 34-9-105 changed effective July 1, 2023. This new procedure applies to appeals from an order or award of the Appellate Division to the Superior Court filed on or after July 1, 2023.
The Georgia Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) has provided a model template for the Petition for Review that appears to be required by some Superior Courts.
The information provided here is for general purposes only. If you have any other questions concerning the Appellate Division, you may contact us at 404-656-9688. Please direct any questions regarding the filing of Superior Court appeals to the proper Superior Court. Filing costs and additional procedures may apply and vary from county to county.
It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the appellate process. Please note that the Board cannot provide legal advice or guidance.