Navigating Workers’ Compensation with Dual Employment: What You Need to Know

workers compensation for dual employment

As a workers’ compensation attorney at Duffy Law Firm, LLC, I’d like to shed light on a crucial aspect of workers’ compensation that can significantly impact your benefits if you’re a worker holding down multiple jobs, either part-time or full-time. In South Carolina, if you sustain an injury while working one job but find yourself unable to perform either of your jobs due to that injury, the calculation of your average weekly wage may incorporate the combined earnings from both positions. This concept is commonly known as “concurrent employment” or “concurrent wages.”

Understanding this concept is essential because it can potentially increase the compensation you receive. The rationale behind it is straightforward: when an injury affects your capacity to earn income from both of your jobs, it’s only fair that your workers’ compensation benefits reflect this impact.

At Duffy Law Firm, LLC, we are  here to provide you with insights into your workers’ compensation benefits and how your second job could impact your claim.

How Workers’ Compensation Functions in South Carolina

Workers’ Compensation is designed to cover the losses and damages incurred when a worker sustains an injury or falls ill due to job-related circumstances. Its primary purpose is to make sure employees that are injured within the course and scope of employment get the medical treatment needed and to make sure that if they are out of work, they still receive money to sustain them until they can return back to work. 

In South Carolina, the statewide Workers’ Compensation system is codified under Title 42 of the South Carolina Code of Laws. According to Section 42-1-360, full-time employees working for a South Carolina company with a staff of at least four individuals are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Even if an employer doesn’t have insurance, there is a state fund that protects workers who work for uninsured employers. 

South Carolina adheres to the no-fault model when it comes to Workers’ Compensation. This means that, in most cases, you may be entitled to compensation even if your work-related injuries occurred due to your actions, with only a few exceptions.


The Implications of Holding Two Jobs and Sustaining an Injury

Obtaining the rightful benefits under Workers’ Compensation can be a complex process. When you’re unable to continue working your multiple jobs due to a work-related injury, navigating this process becomes even more intricate. Seeking legal guidance from a reputable South Carolina Workers’ Compensation attorney is crucial to ensuring you adhere to all state laws and receive the appropriate wage compensation.

Here’s what you should do if you’re injured on the job:

Report the Injury to the Relevant Employer: The employer at the job where the injury occurred is responsible for providing your compensation benefits. Even if you qualify for benefits at both of your jobs, you can only receive them from the employer where the accident took place. It’s important to note that South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation system mandates reporting your injury to your employer within 90 days. Properly fulfilling this notice requirement by reporting your injury to a supervisor or boss is essential to protect your claim.

Seek Medical Treatment from the Designated Medical Professional: Receiving prompt medical treatment after the incident is of utmost importance. However, South Carolina law allows employers to select a medical professional and direct the treatment for injured employees. Always visit the medical provider recommended by the employer of the job where your injuries occurred. Failing to do so may jeopardize your eligibility for benefits.

Disclose Your Second Job Income: As per state laws (Section 42-1-40), workers’ compensation benefits are calculated based on your average weekly wages, regardless of the number of jobs you hold. Informing your primary employer about your second job’s income enables them to accurately calculate your benefits. You’ll likely need to submit pay stubs or wage documentation from your second job as part of your claim.

Gather Evidence and Witness Statements: To establish the precise circumstances of the accident and the full extent of your injuries, collect evidence from the accident scene, such as photographs of your injuries, security video footage, and statements from witnesses. Thorough evidence is vital in supporting your claim.

Contact an Attorney: A South Carolina Workers’ Compensation attorney can assist you in evaluating your claim, provide legal representation throughout all legal proceedings, and, if necessary, guide you through the appeals process in the event of a denied claim. A workers’ compensation attorney offers both compassionate support and expert legal counsel to ensure you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Are There Exceptions to Receiving Workers’ Comp Benefits with Two Jobs?

If your injuries render you unable to work any job, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits that encompass all sources of income. This can include your full-time employment and any additional income streams, such as part-time or seasonal jobs, provided you meet the eligibility requirements for each position.

However, if your injuries only prevent you from working one job while leaving you capable of performing the other, the compensation you may be entitled to will depend on the specific circumstances. In general, you may still be eligible to claim workers’ compensation benefits for the job from which you cannot work, even if you can still perform your duties at the other job.

The calculation of your workers’ compensation benefits hinges on your overall average wages and the nature and extent of your injuries. Nevertheless, if you are still capable of working in one of your jobs, the insurance company may offset the amount you earn from your benefit payments. This is analogous to the adjustments made when seeking multiple benefits, such as Social Security Disability (SSDI).

If you’ve found yourself navigating the complex terrain of Workers’ Compensation, especially when multiple jobs are in the mix, remember that you don’t have to go it alone. The experienced team at Duffy Law Firm, LLC, is here to be your guide and advocate.