When a person in South Carolina is injured or made ill on the job, temporary workers' compensation benefits can be the financial lifeline they need to get by monetarily while they cannot work. However, as the name implies, temporary benefits will not last forever. Therefore, it is important to understand when your temporary workers' compensation benefits will end.
After your physician gives you the go-ahead to return to work, even if it is with restrictions, within 150 days of notification of the incident that resulted in the injury or illness, you will receive a form stating that your benefits have ceased and why. If your physician gives you the go-ahead to return to work, even if it is with restrictions, after the 150-day notification period has passed, you will be asked to sign a form after you have returned to work for 15 days. If your insurer stops paying benefits, and you believe you should still be receiving benefits, there is a form to fill out in order to ask for a hearing, which will occur in 60 days.
If you are ordered to return to work on light duty, you must do so. If you refuse to do so, you may be denied benefits until you return to work. If you think you are unable to perform light work due to your injury or illness, you can request a hearing. However, if you go back to work on light duty before your physician discharges you, and you will be paid less than you were paid before the incident that caused the injury or illness, you may be compensated 66 2/3 percent of the difference between your average pay wage per week and your new pay wage per week.
As this shows, once a person is given the go-ahead by their doctor to return to work, their benefits will cease, even if they are returning with restrictions on the work they can do. Keep in mind that the information in this post only provides a general overview of this topic and does not constitute legal advice. Every worker's situation is different, so those who are receiving temporary benefits will want to make sure they understand how workers' compensation laws will apply to them, especially if they believe their benefits were wrongfully terminated.