Types of Workers' Compensation
Nobody expects to be injured on the job. If the unexpected happens and you are hurt, it helps to know some of what lies ahead. Between the endless paperwork, accident reports, doctor visits, and insurance claims, there is often great uncertainty, and many ask themselves the same question: will I be able to return to work? And if so, when? For most people, the biggest concern is the effect their injury will have on their ability to support their family. That’s where workers’ compensation comes in.
Work-related injuries are classified in several ways, and the type of compensation available for these injuries is tailored accordingly. The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission oversees compensation for workers injured on the job, depending on the nature of the job as well as the injury. You may qualify for partial or full disability, and compensation may be awarded on a temporary or permanent basis.
Partial vs. Total Disability
When assessing the nature of your disability and your entitlement to workers’ compensation, one consideration is how the injury will affect your ability to perform your job. A partial disability is one because of which your ability to perform your job is only partially, or somewhat, impaired. There may be certain tasks you can’t perform, but you are still able to work. Under Title 42 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, Section 42-9-30, provides a comprehensive list covering partial compensation for injuries, such as the loss of use of a hand, foot, or back. As opposed to a partial disability, a determination of total disability occurs when it is determined that your injury prevents you from working at all.
Temporary vs. Permanent Disability
In addition to the nature of the injury and how it affects your ability to perform your job, workers’ compensation will also account for the amount of time the injury will prevent you from working. Often, it boils down to the difference between impairment and actual disability. For example, say you hurt your back at work. Perhaps, based on the severity of the injury and the type of work you perform, your physician recommends you not return to work for 16 weeks. That would be a temporary impairment, and you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation on a temporary basis. On the other hand, say your injury was far more serious; you not only strained your back, but you actually ruptured several disks, and your movement became severely limited. Under these circumstances, a determination might be made that you are now totally disabled, with workers’ compensation benefits awarded accordingly.
Contact Us Regarding Workers’ Compensation
As you can see, determining the amount of workers’ compensation is not an exact science. Regardless of the nature of the injury, if you have been hurt at work, please contact our experienced South Carolina attorneys at Anastopoulo Law Firm to work with you to get the benefits you deserve. We have offices in Charleston and throughout South Carolina and can help provide much-needed relief during the difficult time it takes to recuperate from and adjust to a workplace injury.