Work injuries can take a wide variety of forms. Some involve simple medical treatment with no missed work, while others require extensive medical care and long periods during which the employee is unable to work.
In South Carolina, assistance programs available to individuals who are not working include both workers’ compensation and unemployment. Injured workers may wonder if it’s possible to obtain compensation from both programs in South Carolina.
Workers’ Compensation vs. Unemployment Benefits
First, it’s important to understand the difference between these two entities. While both provide compensation for those out of work, they do have some key variations.
- Workers’ compensation provides compensation for medical care and lost wages to employees who suffer an injury on or related to their job.
- Unemployment benefits are, in general, available to those who lose their job through no fault of their own, are available to work, and are actively seeking new employment.
These definitions indicate that it is not possible to receive both types of compensation. A worker can pursue workers’ compensation benefits when his injury prevents him from working and making a wage, while one of the requirements for unemployment benefits states that the person is able to work and actively looking for employment.
If a person were to receive compensation from both entities, they would be telling opposite stories—claiming to workers’ compensation that they are injured and physically unable to work, while at the same time asserting to the unemployment office that they are capable and available to work.
When Benefits Systems Work Together in Myrtle Beach
Although you generally can’t collect from both programs at the same time, there are more complicated situations in which it is possible to utilize both the workers’ compensation and unemployment systems. This is rare, though it does happen.
For example, there are cases in which a worker is partially and permanently injured on the job. When he recovers as fully as possible, he may no longer be able to return to his old job given his new physical limitations. While he is seeking a new job appropriate for his current skills and capabilities, he may then be eligible for unemployment benefits.
We Can Help You Protect Your Right to Compensation
In any situation, state laws are typically strict when it comes to benefit and compensation programs, so it’s very important to fully understand your rights and responsibilities. If you are unsure of how to proceed after a work injury, it’s a good idea to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
At The Derrick Law Firm, our legal team has helped many injured workers obtain the compensation they deserve. Call or Myrtle Beach office at 843.488.3165 or take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page to learn more about what we do and how we may be able to help. We are also able to meet clients at our Conway, Murrels Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.