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What happens if I use my vacation or sick time after I'm injured at work?

North Carolina Workers' Compensation may provide an employee with wage replacement benefits, medical expenses, or both. If you have suffered a compensable injury, you may be reimbursed for any related medical treatment received immediately after the accident. However, wage replacement benefits follow a different rule.

In North Carolina, Workers' Compensation does not pay for the first 7 days an injured employee is out of work unless he or she remains disabled for at least 21 days. So, an employee who misses 8 to 21 days of work will receive benefits for the days missed after the 7-day waiting period. And a worker who misses more than 21 days of work will receive benefits for all of the time he or she was out of work, including the first week. 

If you want to get paid for the time you were out work during the 7-day waiting period, it may sometimes be necessary to use your accrued vacation or sick time.

But what happens to those sick days if your claim is later approved? It can take up to 60 days for your claim to be approved, and even longer to begin receiving weekly benefits.

If you are injured at work and decide to use your sick days or vacation time, you are entitled to be paid for that time (in accordance with your employer's guidelines on paid time off), and also receive wage replacement benefits. 

Because sick and vacation time has been earned through the efforts of the employee, payment for those days are not equivalent to workers' compensation benefits.

If you have been injured at work and have questions about your workers' compensation benefits, contact us today for a free consultation. Miller Law Firm, PLLC is prepared to go the extra mile to get the compensation you deserve.

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