If your workers’ compensation claim gets approved, you will receive free medical care for your work-related injury and a percentage of your usual wages. Under South Carolina law, employers are required to pay you ⅔ of your pre-injury wages during the period of disability. This percentage may vary depending on your circumstances, but workers’ compensation does not pay full salary.
This article will explain what workers’ compensation covers, how long it lasts, and how you may be able to fight for the compensation you need.
Workers’ Compensation Covers Certain Employees
Per the SC Code § 42-1-150, most employers in South Carolina are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for workers who are physically injured on the job. This includes employees who are:
- Employed by a company with four or more employees
- Full-time and part-time workers
- Undocumented workers
- Contractors (in some cases)
According to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, injured workers will get 66 ⅔ percent of their weekly salary. If you are an employee at more than one job, the wages from your other job(s) may be considered when this percentage is calculated. Also, if you temporarily accept a light-duty position that pays less than your usual salary, your workers’ compensation may pay part of the difference between your old salary and your new one.
Workers’ compensation can pay for missed workdays. However, if you miss work for seven days or less, you will not be compensated for your lost wages. You will only be paid workers’ compensation once you miss work for 8 days. After those 8 days have passed, if you have an ongoing temporary total disability you will get a weekly check for 66 ⅔ percent of your normal salary until the doctor says you can return to work. If you miss more than 8 days, you will also be paid for the first seven days you missed work.
In addition to your weekly check, you will receive free medical care from a doctor of your employer’s choice. If you see a physician of your choosing, you may have to pay them yourself. However, if you are hurt at work and need treatment, feel free to seek medical treatment on your own, but let your employer know before you go, or as soon afterward as possible.
Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may also qualify for permanent disability benefits or other kinds of benefits.
For a free legal consultation, call 864-326-3333
What to Do When Workers’ Compensation Benefits Stop
Your workers’ compensation benefits last until your doctor says you are able to go back to work, either on light duty or regular duty. However, what if your doctor sends you back to work too soon, or if the insurance company denies your claim outright?
According to the South Carolina Bar, in the event of disagreements regarding your workers’ compensation benefits, you are entitled to a hearing. You may present your case, including arguments and document evidence, to a workers’ compensation commissioner. The insurance company may do the same. This process can take several months.
If you disagree with the commissioner’s decision, you may appeal again to the Workers’ Compensation Commission. This time, a panel of commissioners will hear your case and make a new decision.
If you disagree with the panel’s decision, you may take your case to court. However, this rarely happens.
Let Hammack Law Firm Represent You
You can represent yourself in your workers’ compensation case, but you may want to bear in mind that the insurance company will have legal representation and are familiar with defending themselves against cases like yours. So, if you run into trouble with your claim, you may want to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer at Hammack Law Firm. We take on arduous tasks like:
- Appealing: Getting a hearing involves filing paperwork. Allowing a lawyer to help you fill out forms can minimize your risk of making a mistake.
- Gathering and submitting evidence: It is important to back up your claims with evidence, like medical records and a statement from your doctor. Your lawyer may help you obtain certain evidence.
- Negotiating: The thought of fighting an insurance company might be intimidating. With a lawyer to fight on your behalf, you do not have to face them alone.
- Advising: Your lawyer can explain your options, including which route is best for you, and answer any legal questions you may have.
If you are already struggling financially, you might be reluctant to add attorney’s fees on top of your other bills. This is an understandable fear. Many lawyers realize this is a concern for potential clients and will work on a contingency fee basis. That means you do not have to pay for their services unless they win you money. If you do not get any money, you do not have to pay attorney’s fees.
While workers’ compensation does not pay full salary, it is still invaluable for injured workers who need help getting medical care and paying their bills. Hammack Law Firm can help you fight for the compensation you need. Whether you are facing pushback from the insurance company or have already been denied workers’ compensation benefits, give us a call at 864-326-3333 and find out what we can do for you.