Key Differences Between Temporary and Permanent Disability
When you are the victim of a work-related injury, your workers' compensation claim will generally reimburse you for such costs as medical expenses, rehabilitation fees, and part of the wages you lose by being injured. This last payment, also known as wage compensation, depends on the manner in which your injury is classified by your claims adjustor.
One important classification your adjustor will make distinguishes between injuries that leave you temporarily disabled, and those that permanently disable you. To determine which category your injury falls into, the adjustor will consider:
- Whether it is possible to fully recover from your injury
- Whether doctors expect you to fully recover
- Whether your injury is likely to leave you with any chronic conditions
- Whether it will be possible for you to return to work in your previous capacity
- Whether you have lost any faculties or body parts that cannot be recovered
Your adjustor will also determine whether your injury is completely disabling, or whether you can still work at a slightly lowered capacity.
When your injury is classified as a temporary disability, you will receive 66.67% of your Average Weekly Wage (AWW), a wage rate computed by averaging your weekly earnings over the year prior to your accident. If you are able to do some work, but are earning less than you would without your disability, you will receive 66.67% of the difference between your current and previous AWW. The maximum time you can receive these benefits varies from 340 weeks to 500 weeks.
Permanent disability benefits in South Carolina depend greatly on the nature of the disabling injury. Having a finger amputated, for example, would be compensated differently than permanently losing the use of your legs. South Carolina's work injury laws have specific compensation rates for many different types of permanent disabilities, and a workers' compensation lawyer can help ensure that your claims adjustor classifies your disability correctly.
To learn more about the benefits you are owed under South Carolina workers' compensation law, contact the Charleston work injury lawyers at Steinberg Law Firm. Call us at 843-720-2800 or contact us through this website for a free case review.