Workers’ compensation is a government-sponsored insurance system that protects employees who are injured or become ill while on the job. The specific benefits can vary from state to state and for certain types of employees. In general, the employee can receive:
- Coverage for medical expenses
- Compensation for lost wages
- Benefits for dependents of workers who die from job-related hazards
South Carolina Workers’ Compensation
South Carolina law allows workers’ compensation for medical benefits, lost wages, and permanent disability. The actual amount of your benefits will depend on:
- Your average weekly wages prior to the accident
- The extent of your injuries
- Your ability to continue working
It should be noted that the South Carolina Workers Compensation Act does not provide compensation for pain and suffering.
What to Do if You Are Injured in South Carolina
Time is of the essence in preserving your right to workers’ compensation benefits. You should report all workplace illnesses or injuries to your employer immediately. You could be denied benefits if you fail to report the injury within 90 days of the accident.
Furthermore, you must file a claim within two years to preserve your right to benefits. An experienced and qualified North Charleston workers comp lawyer can walk you through this process.
What Types of Medical Benefits Are Covered?
In South Carolina, the employer has the right to choose your treating doctor. However, you do have the right to ask for a second opinion. If this request is denied, you can request a hearing with the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner.
If the employer’s representative determines that your injuries were work-related, you can receive compensation for:
- Medical supplies
- Prosthetic devices
You are also entitled to travel expenses to and from the doctor or pharmacy. Depending on the circumstances, you may also be assigned a nurse case manager to assist you in managing your care.
How Am I Compensated for Lost Wages?
If you are unable to work at all for more than seven days, you are entitled to temporary compensation for your lost wages starting on the eighth calendar day that you are unable to work.
If you are able to return to work on limited duty, you are eligible to receive temporary partial compensation. You can be denied benefits if you do not accept the modified work assignment; however, you can request a hearing if you believe that you are unable to perform the work requested.
If you are out of work completely for more than 14 days, you are eligible for benefits dating to the first date of your incapacity.
How Are My Benefits Calculated?
The amount you receive will be 66 2/3% of the difference between your average weekly salaries before and after the accident. You will continue to receive benefits until you are fully released to return to work without restrictions.
What Benefits Do I Have as a Federal Employee?
The U.S. Department of Labor oversees four disability programs for federal employees that provide wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and other benefits:
- The Federal Employees Compensation Program provides benefits to injured federal workers and survivors and helps injured employees return to work when they are medically able to do so.
- The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Program provides benefits to those injured or killed during land-based, maritime employment.
- The Federal Black Lung Program provides compensation to coal miners who are totally disabled or who die of pneumoconiosis arising out of coal mine employment.
- The Energy Workers Program compensates injured employees of the Department of Energy, or their dependents, who were diagnosed with radiogenic cancer, chronic beryllium disease, beryllium sensitivity, or chronic silicosis, as a result of exposure to radiation, beryllium, or silica while employed at covered facilities.
The physical recovery from a work-related illness or injury is stressful enough without the constant worry of how your family will navigate the financial impact. Call to arrange your workers’ compensation consultation today.
Kerry L. Tucker
Early in his journalism college years, Kerry L. Tucker had a revelation: there were not nearly enough law communicators. Peoples’ difficulties in understanding the law, procedures, and how the justice system worked stemmed from the fact that no one took the patience to explain complicated matters to them. Therefore, he took upon him the task of helping people navigate legal matters easier. He works with attorneys and other legal journalists, and spends time doing research so that everyone – from a mother whose child got a bike injury to a company needing insurance counsel – to find the actionable answers they are looking for.