You can’t lose your job while on workers’ compensation in South Carolina (though this only applies to the job you applied for coverage with). If you get hurt in the workplace or are diagnosed with an occupation-related illness, you are protected from employer retaliation. However, it’s not always easy for injured employees to receive the workers’ compensation benefits they rightfully deserve.
Workers should be diligent in asserting their right to workers’ compensation benefits. An employer can be monetarily penalized for any measures taken against an employee on a worker’s compensation claim. It is important to know your rights, take advantage of them, and hire an attorney to fight for your workers’ compensation claim.
Returning to Work After Receiving Workers’ Compensation
South Carolina law S.C. Ann. § 41-1-80 states that employers must continue to utilize workers through the period of a valid workers’ compensation claim. This allows you, the injured or ill worker, time to receive treatment and recover without worrying about losing your job or being demoted. Following recovery, a doctor must certify that you can return to work.
Your employer is responsible for accommodating this return after a medical professional’s approval. These accommodations may include adjustments to your working schedule or specific responsibilities. For example, you may not be allowed to lift heavy items for the next six months according to your doctor. If you were normally responsible for heavy lifting, it is the responsibility of your employer to make reasonable accommodations.
However, there may be a disagreement about whether you are ready to return to the workplace or how to accommodate your new needs. In these situations, a workers’ compensation attorney can be a significant help in fighting for your rights.
What Makes Someone Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
If you have been injured at your job in South Carolina, you can file a workers’ compensation claim. Your claim should meet all of the following criteria:
- Your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance. This is required for most companies under South Carolina law.
- You are an employee of the company.
- Your injury occurred on the job or resulted from conditions of your work.
Claims which meet these three requirements may be legitimate. If your situation calls for a workers’ compensation claim, a lawyer from our team can guide you on how to file and answer any questions you may have.
How Long After an Injury Should I File for Workers’ Compensation?
If you have been injured or become ill on the job, time is of the essence. In most scenarios, it will benefit you to file your claim as soon as possible, as there are reporting and filing deadlines. This can allow you to receive benefits quickly and focus on your recovery and health.
You may think it best to wait and assess the severity of your injuries. However, when it comes to workers’ compensation, this is not a wise strategy. Delaying your claim could impact your ability to receive benefits.
As soon as you are injured on the job, report it to your employer and seek to file a workers’ compensation claim.
If I Have a Long-Term Injury, Am I Still Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
Depending on the circumstances of your situation, you may still be eligible for compensation. Workers’ compensation injuries can happen in a variety of situations. Sometimes they are quick and sudden, while others come from repetitive strain.
If you are unsure or have legal questions regarding your rights, you can talk with a workers’ compensation attorney. Our firm will help you determine if your long-term injuries or illnesses meet the requirements for a workers’ compensation claim.
What Can I Gain from a Workers’ Compensation Claim in South Carolina?
There are several different types of compensation you may qualify for under your workers’ compensation claim. All compensation is determined based on the severity of your injury or illness and the length of your recovery. Compensation may include:
- Medical treatment
- Lost income up two-thirds of your average weekly wages for a set amount of time.
To recover damages from your illness or injury, you must see an authorized workers’ compensation doctor. A physician will assess your injury or illness and estimate the time you need for recovery.
Once the doctor determines you are ready to return to the workplace, you should return at the same pay rate. Even if your injury leaves you unable to complete some of your previous responsibilities, workers’ compensation laws can help you keep your pre-injury income.
How Can George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Help Me?
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, prides itself on fighting for clients’ rights in South Carolina. With a team of workers’ compensation attorneys, George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers is ready and available to help you apply for the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.