The What, When, and Why of South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Checks

If you are hurt on the job in South Carolina, your employer’s insurance company will likely have to pay you for the time you miss from work. The amount of compensation you receive is based on two-thirds (2/3) of your pre-tax, weekly earnings. For instance, if you grossed an average of $600.00 per week before your accident, you would be entitled to weekly checks of $400.00. Most people refer to these weekly payments as “workers’ comp checks.” In legal terms they are known as payment for “temporary total disability.” The idea is that you are temporarily unable to perform your job, and should therefore be compensated. However, many injured employees struggle to get by on only 2/3s of their wage.

As a Columbia, SC workers’ comp attorney, I inform my clients of all their options. At times, one of these options includes seeking another job within the doctor’s restrictions. For instance, if a heavy laborer is injured in a factory and the doctor restricts him to light duty, yet his employer has no light duty available, the client may be unable to support his family off a workers’ comp check. The client may therefore choose to apply for a new job that permits light duty work. For example, the injured worker might apply as a cashier, hotel clerk, or any other position with few physical demands. Even thought the new job might only be temporary, it will allow the client to get out of the house and back on his or her feet.

The injured employee would continue to receive a workers’ comp check unless the wages from his new job matched his pre-accident earnings. Specifically, the insurance company would have to issue weekly checks for two-thirds of the difference between his old and new earnings. This type of workers’ comp check is known in the law as payment for “temporary partial disability.” Once again, the idea is that you must be compensated if you are unable to complete a full return to your former job. Temporary partial disability payments are therefore made even if you return to your former workplace at a lower salary or on a part-time basis. Like all other workers’ comp checks, you should continue to receive temporary partial disability payments until an authorized doctor determines that you have reached maximum medical improvement.

While two-thirds of your pre-accident earnings or the thought of working part-time for a new employer is frightening, it can often be the difference between paying bills and bankruptcy. South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys guide injured employees through these difficult times, and fight to ensure full benefits are received. It is why I am proud to call myself a workers’ comp lawyer, and one of the reasons I find great satisfaction in my job. If you have questions about workers' compensation benefits, or any aspect of your claim, call me for a free consultation at (803) 790-2800.

Kenneth Berger
Columbia South Carolina attorney dedicated to securing justice by helping the truly injured