Even if you go back to work, you may still be able to get a settlement from workers’ compensation. If you were injured and qualified for workers’ compensation benefits but did not receive them by the time you recovered and could go back to work, you may still be owed compensation for your medical treatment or the time you missed at work.
In some cases, if you are cleared to return to light work but do not make as much as before, you can still receive workers’ compensation payments to make up some of the difference between your old wage and your new wage.
How Workers’ Compensation Settlements Work
While a settlement can be the easiest and fastest way to receive economic benefits for a job-related injury, not all workers’ compensation cases end in a settlement. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), there are several kinds of workers’ compensation benefits and several methods of paying those benefits to workers. One option is to receive a lump sum settlement. In order to get a settlement, you must either:
- Have your lawyer file the settlement agreement with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC)
- Get approval from the WC Commissioner if you are not working with a lawyer
Going Back to Work After an Injury
Some workplace injuries are so severe that you will never be able to work again. Others are temporary, and, depending on your employer and the type of job you have, you may be able to perform light work or work reduced hours as you recover.
If your doctor recommends that you accept light work, or if you feel you are capable of performing light work even without a doctor’s order, getting back on the job as soon as possible can provide several benefits. You will be able to earn money for yourself and your family, and you will be taking an important step towards a new normal.
In addition, if your light work job pays less than your regular job, workers’ compensation may reimburse you for part of the difference between the two wages.
On the other hand, according to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC), refusing a doctor’s order to return to work may cost you all of your workers’ compensation benefits. If you do not believe that you are ready to return to work, or if you run into any other problems getting your money, you may have to file an appeal.
Appealing a Workers’ Compensation Decision
According to the South Carolina Bar, there are several stages of appeals available for people who are dissatisfied with the current state of their case. These are:
- Mediation: According to the WCC, a trained mediator will sit down with you and the other party before a hearing and try to help you settle your differences.
- Hearing: A Workers’ Compensation Commissioner will hear your case and make a decision.
- Full Commission hearing: All of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioners (minus the commissioner who has already heard your case) will render a new decision.
- Circuit Court: Once your case enters the legal system, you can continue to appeal up to the South Carolina Supreme Court if you need to.
Legal Representation Can Help
The workers’ compensation system is very complex. Hiring our attorney can help you avoid mistakes and make the legal process much easier for you to navigate.
A lawyer from our firm can help you with tasks such as:
- Collecting evidence: Expert or witness testimony, medical records, and more may prove you qualify for the benefits you are seeking.
- Filing for appeal: If there are any disagreements about how or when you receive your benefits, we can help sort them out and advocate for the money you need.
- Filing your settlement agreement: If the insurance company agrees to settle, we will prepare the paperwork and file it with the WCC.
- Explaining your options: If you are not sure what to do, or if there is a change in the case or your condition, we can help you figure out how to deal with it.
Let Hammack Law Firm Help You
Hammack Law Firm may be able to help you get a settlement from workers’ compensation, even if you go back to work. We help clients in and around Greenville, South Carolina.
Call us today at (864) 326-3333 for your free case review with a member of our workers’ compensation team. We provide all of our clients with warm, compassionate service. Read our Google reviews and testimonials online to see what our satisfied clients have to say about their positive experiences with us.