Do I Have to Take Time Off for a Work-related Injury?

When you are injured on the job, the first thing that you should do as soon as possible – and immediately if you can – is to seek medical care. Seeking medical care may require you to miss work. Further, your doctor may advise you to take some time off from work to heal, or you may be physically unable to return to work or perform work-related tasks due to your injury.

If your doctor tells you that you are unable to return to work, you should absolutely follow this recommendation until you are released back to your job. If you have to miss work due to medical reasons, you are entitled to compensation for your days of missed pay. There is a seven-day waiting period before benefits can begin. After the seven-day window, benefits will be paid at a rate of 66.66 percent of your average weekly wage prior to the injury. If you have to miss work for more than 14 days, you will receive back pay for the initial seven days for which pay was unavailable. Payments will be made directly to you (not to your employer and then to you) from the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. When you are medically released back to work, these payments will cease.

Keep in mind that if missing work is not per a doctor’s order, you will not be entitled to compensation for your lost wages. If you believe that you are released back to work before you are ready, you can appeal the decision with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation commission.

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