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Waiting Periods & Retroactive Pay in Workers' Compensation

Waiting Periods & Retroactive Pay in Workers' Compensation

| Oct 9, 2017

After a workplace injury, your employer’s insurance is meant to pay for your medical treatment, loss of wages and compensation for permanent disfigurement or disability through workers’ compensation. While the pay is typically a fraction of your average weekly wage (66 2/3% in South Carolina), financial relief is still financial relief, and it can make a world of difference during tough times.

What you may not know is that workers’ compensation does not necessarily start on the day you are injured. You may not even receive payments at all. Waiting periods and retroactive periods, which vary across the U.S., prevent you from collecting payments unless you meet certain requirements.

Waiting Period

In South Carolina and many other states, an injured employee must wait 7 days before workers’ compensation benefits are payable. This is designed to prevent workers’ compensation fraud (exaggerated injuries) and to avoid legal paperwork for minor injuries.

Retroactive Period

An injured employee must miss a certain amount of days before receiving retroactive payments for the 7-day waiting period, known as the retroactive period. In South Carolina, the retroactive period is 14 days, meaning an injured employee can receive workers’ compensation payments for the first 7 days and thereafter, only after the 14-day retroactive period.

Real-Life Examples

  • If you are injured at work and only miss 6 days of work, you are responsible for all your medical bills because you did not exceed the waiting period.
  • If you miss 11 days of work due to an injury, you will receive payments for the 4 days that exceeded the waiting period. This is because you went beyond the waiting period, but not the retroactive period.
  • If you are injured for 21 days, you will be compensated for every single day, including the 7-day waiting period, because you exceeded the waiting period and the 14-day retroactive period.

If you have been injured in the workplace, you should immediately contact our South Carolina Workers Compensation Lawyers at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers. For over 40 years, our law firm has been devoted to the workers of Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Florence, North Augusta and other cities across South Carolina. We’re available 24/7 for a free consultation.

Call us now at 888-612-7001 or contact us online.

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