Most working-class families have a tight budget for their household. Some families even rely on credit cards so that they have money for necessities like groceries and utility bills between paychecks. Knowing your income is a crucial part of maintaining a workable budget.
Your income expectations may have to change if you get hurt on the job or get diagnosed with a work-acquired illness that requires convalescent leave. If your job is the reason you have the medical condition, you can apply for workers’ compensation benefits for both medical coverage and disability pay. What will that mean for your household budget?
South Carolina workers’ compensation only pays part of your wages
Short-term and long-term disability benefits do not replace the full amount of someone’s average weekly wage. Instead, these benefits will provide someone with up to two-thirds of their average weekly wage. However, even that reduced benefit is subject to a maximum amount.
In 2021, South Carolina has set the maximum weekly benefit for workers’ compensation disability payments as $903.40. Regardless of what wages you usually get, you won’t receive workers’ compensation benefits for more than $903.40.
Understanding how your household budget will have to shift to cover this reduction can make it easier for your family to adjust. While adjusting to a slightly lower level of income may be uncomfortable at first, it is better than the alternative, which could be trying to make do without workers’ compensation.
Losing out on those benefits could mean financial disaster
Some people who need workers’ compensation don’t receive an approval for their claim. Instead, they get denied the benefits that they need to get back to work. Without medical care, they may not fully recover, and without disability benefits to take time off of work, they may not be able to heal.
If you haven’t yet received the benefits you need, you may need to prepare yourself to negotiate with your employer or appeal the unfair denial. Whether you need to appeal an unfair denial of an appropriate claim or you just want to be sure that you do everything appropriately when claiming benefits, getting professional help with your workers’ compensation paperwork may be a wise decision.