High-Quality Educational Training: A Shared Goal of Great Importance

By Judge Neera Bahl

Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation

Atlanta, Georgia


As an Appellate Judge and Director for the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation and a member of National Association of Workers’ Compensation Judiciary, Inc. (NAWCJ), I have observed several shared goals of these two organizations. I would like to discuss one of these shared goals in this article. The NAWCJ seeks to provide a national forum for the enhancement of the workers’ compensation adjudication process and justice system. To help with this mission, one of the goals of the NAWCJ is to provide high-quality educational training to workers’ compensation adjudicators and administrators across the United States on matters unique to the workers’ compensation system. The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation also seeks to enhance the workers’ compensation adjudication process and justice system albeit at a state level. Similarly, one of our goals is to provide high-quality educational opportunities for employees, employers, and other participants in the system.  This educational goal is integral to the Board’s mission statement and values, and the authority of the Board to provide such educational opportunities is set forth in the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act.

In August 2023, the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation launched its first annual workers’ compensation insurance adjuster training program. Insurance adjusters play a crucial role in the workers’ compensation claims process. They must possess knowledge of the workers’ compensation insurance industry, the skill to effectively administer claims, and perhaps most importantly, the empathy and understanding necessary to navigate difficult situations with professionalism and kindness.  The Board has an immense appreciation for insurance adjusters, and consequently, the Board developed and tailored this training program specially to insurance adjusters handling Georgia workers’ compensation claims. Upon completion of this program, adjusters can earn up to 12 CEU (continuing education unit) hours. Over 200 insurance adjusters attended this in-person training in August 2023, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

Unlike adjuster training opportunities offered by third parties such as vendors and law firms, this new training program is conducted by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation with the help of notable industry leaders. Who better to learn from than the Board itself? Topics in 2023 included general benefit information, proper filing of board forms, return to work issues, medical case management, alternative dispute resolution, and the hearing and appellate process. We also included an ethics and professionalism session, and our keynote speaker was journalist, Monica Kaufman Pearson.  Administrative law judges and appellate judges were also in attendance and enjoyed interacting with attendees.

Our second annual Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation insurance adjuster training program will be held August 27 – 28, 2024 in Alpharetta, Georgia at The Hotel at Avalon. This year we will offer two different program tracks. We have an exciting agenda planned with topics such as “Adjuster Panel: Real Life Case Scenarios – How to Handle Difficult Claims,” “Adjuster and Expert Depositions: How to Prepare,” and “Best Practices in Communications with Vendors and Pro Se Claimants.” We will continue to extend up to 12 CEU hours to those who complete the training program. We believe this program to be perfect complement to our four regional educational seminars and our annual educational conference which provides valuable information for employers, insurers/self-insurers, human resource and risk managers, rehabilitation specialists, medical service providers, case managers, workers’ compensation attorneys, paralegals, and other workers’ compensation system participants, as well as insurance claims adjusters.

As a service-oriented organization, it is vital that we serve all our many stakeholders and the state of Georgia. We must always ask ourselves if there is something we can improve upon, or offer, to uphold our mission statement and to meet our goals. Our new adjuster training program is one such way in which we can continue to enhance the workers’ compensation adjudication process. If you are interested in attending our insurance adjuster training program in 2024, you can follow our website at I hope to see you there!