If you’ve been hurt at work and the doctor won’t let you go back yet, one of the first things you need to know is whether you can support yourself and your family. Luckily, South Carolina workers’ compensation gives you the right to a weekly check that replaces the majority of your paycheck. It’s called temporary total disability (TTD) compensation.
Here’s how it works, based on common questions we get from our clients:
- When does my weekly check start? When you’re out of work eight days. That’s calendar days, not workdays. It doesn’t have to be eight days in a row.
- How much do I get? Basically, two-thirds of your average weekly wage. It’s usually calculated by averaging total wages paid the four quarters before you got hurt, excluding the quarter you got hurt. Your average weekly wage is multiplied by two-thirds to get the amount of your weekly check. If you didn’t work for your employer that long, there are other ways to calculate it. Free Pointer: If you have more than one employer, those wages are also included, if you can’t work your other jobs.
- How long do I get it? Most people get it until they get cleared by the doctor to return to work and get back to work. Under the law, there is a critical 150-day benchmark that determines whether when the workers’ compensation insurance company can stop paying TTD benefits.
Stopping TTD Before 150 Days Have Passed
The clock starts ticking the date you report your injury. In the 150 days after that, the insurance company can stop paying TTD benefits if any of these events happen:
- You return to work, or agree you can work by signing an official form. But if you can’t make it for 15 calendar days back at work due to your injury, TTD starts again.
- A good faith investigation reveals your claim should be denied.
- The doctor releases you to work without restriction and your employer offers you a comparable job.
- The doctor releases you to limited duty and your employer offers it.
- You refuse medical treatment. TTD resumes once you accept treatment or the Workers’ Compensation Commission finds your refusal justified.
Do you need help from a Spartanburg workers' compensation attorney? You can call us at 888-230-1841, fill out a contact form here or download our book The Hurt Worker's Toolkit: The Basics of South Carolina Workers' Compensation Cases.
Stopping TTD After 150 days
After 150 days from the date your injury is reported, the insurance company can stop paying TTD if:
- The doctor releases you to work without restriction and your employer offers you the same or suitable job.
- The doctor releases you to limited duty and your employer provides it.
- You go to work for another employer.
In all these situations, you might still qualify for temporary partial compensation. And if you can’t finish 15 calendar days of work, TTD resumes.
Also, the insurance company qualifies to stop payment, but must continue until the Commission orders it to stop when:
- The doctor reports you reached maximum medical improvement.
- The doctor releases you to work without restriction and your employer offers you the same or suitable job, but you refuse it.
- The doctor assigns an impairment rating and reports you are unable to return to work at the same or other suitable job.
Free Pointer: These situations could cause you to be overpaid on TTD. If so, the insurance company can ask the Commission to give it a credit, usually by deducting part of your cash settlement at the end.
Contact Our Workers’ Comp Attorneys to Learn More About TTD Benefits and Workers' Comp Law
If you’re having trouble getting your weekly check for an injury in Spartanburg, Greenville, Cherokee, Union, or any nearby community, it won’t cost you a thing to see what we can do to help you get it. If we take your case, we will hold the insurance company accountable to the full extent of the law, which may include a hefty penalty.
You may be entitled to way more than just a weekly check, but serious injuries can complicate your case. To schedule a free, confidential meeting to discuss the specifics of your claim, call us toll-free at 888.230.1841.