Workers’ compensation does not pay full salary in South Carolina. The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission explains the factors used to determine workers’ compensation insurance benefits. As a general rule, workers’ compensation entitles you to 66 ⅔% of your average weekly salary.
However, there are restrictions. The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) sets a maximum amount you may collect each week. This amount changes every year. So in theory, it is possible that you will receive less than 66 ⅔% of your weekly salary, if that number exceeds the limit set by the DEW.
If you work more than one job, the average weekly salary/ies from your other job(s) may be incorporated into the calculations described above.
What Expenses does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
In addition to the percentage of your salary discussed above, workers’ compensation will cover your medical expenses resulting from the injury. This includes any and all treatments your doctor deems necessary to help you recover to the fullest extent possible.
This benefit is only available if you go to the doctor chosen by your employer or their insurance carrier. If you wish to see another doctor, you have several options.
- Pay for it yourself: You can pay for treatment from another doctor out of your own pocket
- Contact the insurance carrier: You can directly ask the insurer for their permission to see another doctor
- Apply for a hearing: You can ask for a workers’ compensation commissioner to consider your case (the commissioner will decide whether or not to grant your request)
Workers’ compensation will also cover your medically-related travel expenses in cases where the round trip distance from the treatment facility or the pharmacy to your house is more than ten miles.
How Long does Workers’ Compensation Last?
You will start receiving workers’ compensation once your claim is accepted and you have missed work for more than seven days. You will receive a check each week for the amount you are entitled to.
You can continue to collect workers’ compensation until a doctor decides you are well enough to return to work. Even if the doctor only clears you for light duty, you must return to work or risk losing your workers’ compensation benefits.
If your injury has left you permanently scarred or disabled, you may be entitled to further benefits. In such a case, you, the Workers’ Compensation Commission, and the insurance carrier will meet to decide how much you should receive.
According to S.C. Ann. § 42-1-150, people may also claim workers’ compensation in cases where the worker died as a result of their injury. In this case, their surviving spouse and/or other relatives who were dependent on the worker’s income may file a claim for workers’ compensation.
What if There Is Disagreement about My Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
With so many decisions to be made during and after the filing process, you might find yourself at odds with your doctor, your employer, or the insurer somewhere along the way. Your employer or their insurer might also even dispute your workers’ comp claim.
If at any point you disagree with a decision made by any of these parties, you have the right to request a hearing or, in some cases, mediation. In the event that you request a hearing, a workers’ compensation commissioner may first send the case for mediation anyway.
The Mediation and Hearing Process
The first step in the mediation process is for you and the other party to select a certified mediator. The mediator will try to help you resolve your differences and come to an agreement. If this fails, a hearing will be scheduled.
There, you will have the opportunity to bring evidence before a workers’ compensation commissioner to explain your side of the story, as will the opposing party. The commissioner will then make a decision based on that evidence.
If you or the opposing party disagrees with the commissioner’s decision, the case can be appealed to the Workers’ Compensation Commission. The entire Commission will then hear and make a decision in your case.
Talk to a South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
Whether workers’ compensation pays full salary in South Carolina is only the first in a long list of concerns an injured worker might have. Applying for and keeping your workers’ compensation can be exhausting, especially when you are already dealing with a serious injury.
Let George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers take care of the complicated legal proceedings for you. Call us or fill out our online form so that we can get started on your case with a free consultation as soon as possible.