South Carolina Workers’ Compensation and Coronavirus: Light Duty Workers Entitled to Benefits During Coronavirus Pandemic
Any employee who was working light duty but now cannot do so due to the coronavirus is entitled to temporary total disability payments through South Carolina workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation insurers are attempting to exploit the current coronavirus pandemic to deny injured workers their workers’ compensation benefits. Specifically, insurers are claiming that an injured worker who was working light duty does not get workers’ compensation payments when the business closes due to the coronavirus. Steinberg Law Firm partner Tom White reports, “I have a client working light duty whose job shut down due to the coronavirus, and the insurance company claimed it didn’t have to pay temporary total disability benefits.” An insurer taking that position is violating South Carolina law.
What is light-duty work?
When an employee is injured at work and has not yet fully recovered (has not reached “maximum medical improvement”), the employer can either pay the injured employee temporary total disability payments or can have the employee work light duty and receive their standard pay. Light duty work is work that the injured employee can perform despite their injuries. For example, an employee with an injured back may be given light duty work filling out paperwork or any other work not requiring the use of their back.
What is a temporary total disability payment?
Temporary total disability payments are 2/3 of an employee’s regular weekly pay. South Carolina workers’ compensation law is clear that regardless of the reason if an employer has not offered an injured employee light work, the employee gets temporary total disability payments.
How can the Steinberg Law Firm help?
If you were working light duty before the coronavirus pandemic, the workers’ compensation lawyers at the Steinberg Law Firm can get you compensation. Our South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers have extensive experience advocating for injured workers, and we know how to hold employers and insurers accountable for paying you the benefits you deserve. Our firm has been handling workers’ compensation claims for nearly one hundred years, and the firm’s founder was one of the individuals who helped write South Carolina’s workers’ compensation law. We are always happy to discuss how we may be able to help an injured worker and provide free consultations. If you believe that you are not receiving the benefits you are entitled to; please give us a call at 843-720-2800.