What to Know About South Carolina and Short-Term Disability

Please Note: The Peace Law Firm is licensed to practice only in North Carolina and South Carolina.

If you suffer from an injury or illness that keeps you from working for a while, you may be eligible for short-term disability in South Carolina.

Short- and long-term disability benefits work similarly to workers’ compensation benefits, but the two are not identical.

On the one hand, workers’ compensation covers injuries and illnesses that arise from or during work. On the other hand, short- and long-term disability benefits cover you for injuries or illnesses that do not arise from work.

However, as they do with workers’ compensation benefits, employers often provide short-term disability benefits.

Also similar to workers’ compensation benefits, short-term disability benefits come through specific insurance plans. Unlike workers’ compensation insurance, which almost every state mandates, only a few states require employers to provide short-term disability benefits to all employees. South Carolina is not one of those states. 

Key Takeaways From The Article:

  1. No State Mandate: Unlike some states, South Carolina does not legally require employers to provide short-term disability coverage to their employees.
  2. Employer-Provided Coverage: Many employers in South Carolina voluntarily offer short-term disability benefits. Employees should start by inquiring about their coverage directly with their employer or the HR department.
  3. Filing a Claim: If covered, employees can file a short-term disability claim through their employer's insurance provider. It's essential to notify the employer about the injury or illness as soon as possible to avoid complications.
  4. Social Security Administration (SSA) Option: For those without employer-provided coverage, applying for short-term disability benefits through the SSA is an alternative. This process can be done in conjunction with or separately from any employer-provided benefits, though it may affect the benefits received from the employer.
  5. Legal Assistance: The article emphasizes that short-term disability claims can be wrongfully denied or reduced. Legal assistance, such as that offered by the Peace Law Firm, can help individuals navigate the claims process and fight for the benefits they deserve.

Short-Term Disability Coverage in South Carolina

Although South Carolina does not legally require employers to provide short-term disability coverage, many employers still provide it. If not, filing a disability claim with the Social Security Administration (SSA) is another option you have for SC short-term disability benefits.

Short-Term Disability Coverage Through Your Employer

If you cannot work due to an injury or illness and want to apply for SC short-term disability benefits, asking your employer about your coverage is an excellent place to start. If your employer’s insurance does cover short-term disability in SC, the next step is to file a claim.  

Your employer can help you file a short-term disability claim, but the claim will ultimately go through your employer’s short-term disability insurance provider. Thus, you can also go directly to the insurance company to file a claim. However, if your employer is not yet aware of your injury or disability, you should notify them as soon as possible to avoid any unexpected problems. After all, your employer should always be aware of your situation when you are unable to work. Your employer’s HR department is a good resource for inquiring about their short-term disability coverage details. A conversation with them before filing a claim can be very helpful.

Short-Term Disability Coverage Through Social Security

If your employer does not provide short-term disability coverage, you can still apply for benefits through SSA. In some situations, you can apply for these benefits in addition to doing so through your employer’s short-term disability insurance provider. However, this may affect the benefits you seek through your employer. The only way to be sure is to consult your employer or their insurance provider about the details of the insurance agreement. Applying for SSA disability benefits is a similar process to applying through your insurance. Check the SSA’s disability page for the application itself and more in-depth instructions on the process.

Do You Need Help with South Carolina Short-Term Disability?

There are no two ways about it—if you are unable to work for a period of time due to an injury or illness and your employer has short-term disability insurance, you deserve short-term disability benefits. Unfortunately, however, short-term disability claims are wrongfully denied or reduced all the time. This happens for any number of reasons. Trying to negotiate with an insurance company is a daunting prospect that may leave you feeling like you want to give up—but don’t. John Peace of Peace Law Firm is here to help you fight for the disability benefits you deserve. One of our firm’s primary focuses is group benefits like employer disability benefits, so we know the process’s ins and outs from start to finish. Contact us for a free consultation, so we can take care of the heavy lifting and you can focus on what’s most important—healing.

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