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Required Period of Incapacitation

Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Injured Spartanburg and Greenville Employees

The workers’ compensation system is critical for employees, ensuring that they receive the benefits that they need if they are injured on the job. In many cases, navigating the system and understanding the many different requirements that apply to a benefits claim may be daunting for an injured worker, especially if they are coping with a painful injury and the disruption that it causes to their life. There are certain administrative steps and requirements involved in a workers’ compensation claim. One example is the required period of incapacitation. Whether or not an employee has satisfied this requirement is a critical inquiry in proceeding with the benefits claim. At the Knie & Shealy Law Offices, our Greenville and Spartanburg workers’ compensation attorney is ready to assist you with your claim as you pursue the compensation that you deserve.

The South Carolina Claims Process

To begin the workers’ compensation claims process, an injured worker must notify their employer that they have suffered a work-related injury. The injuries that fall within the scope of workers’ compensation are broad, covering obvious examples like broken bones or concussions, as well as injuries that accrue over a period of time. Common examples of this latter category of injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome and other conditions that result from performing routine and repetitive actions. Once the claim has commenced, the employee will be asked to submit to a medical examination conducted by a physician of the insurer’s choosing. If the employee disputes the final assessment rendered by the physician, the employee may see a doctor of their choosing. In the event that the two medical examinations produce inconsistent results, the Commission may appoint a third examiner to provide a tie-breaking opinion.

During the examination, the physician will assess whether the injury is temporary or permanent and whether it is partial or total. A temporary and partial injury will typically result in a limited benefits payment that expires once the employee is deemed fit to return to their normal work duties. A permanent and total injury, on the other hand, will usually result in a more substantial benefits payment and will often result in the employee seeking more long-term benefits like Social Security Disability payments.

Understanding the Required Period of Incapacitation

According to South Carolina law, an injured employee must be out of work for at least seven days before they are eligible to receive payments from the employer’s workers’ compensation carrier. This is known as the required period of incapacitation, and it is a critical requirement that the employee must meet in order to receive payments. In the event that the employee is unable to work for 14 days or more, the employee will receive compensation even for the first week.

When it comes to calculating benefits, the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission has certain legal requirements that it must follow. For example, benefit payments vary depending on whether the injury is temporary or permanent and whether it is total or partial. In most cases, the benefits amount to two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage, based on the four fiscal quarters leading up to the date that the injury occurred. An employee’s benefit payments will be terminated at the time that the supervising physician concludes that the employee is fit to return to work. Also, during the benefits period, the employee is required to accept any light work or reduced work duties if the employer is able to offer them. If an employee refuses to accept light work duties, their compensation may be revoked for the period during which they refuse to work.

Consult a Job Injury Lawyer in Greenville or Spartanburg

At the Knie & Shealy Law Offices, we understand how difficult it may be to initiate a workers’ compensation claim. Things are even more difficult if you are facing a devastating and painful injury while also handling the disruption that it causes to your family life. Our experienced Greenville and Spartanburg lawyer can provide you with the attentive and dedicated legal representation that you need during this difficult time. We represent employees who need a job injury attorney throughout Laurens, Cherokee, Spartanburg, and Union Counties, and we offer a free consultation so that you can learn more about your rights. Call us now at (864) 582-5118 or contact us online to set up your appointment with an attorney.