Workers’ compensation, also called workman’s comp, is a type of liability insurance that most businesses in South Carolina are legally required to carry to pay employees when they are injured on the job.
Does Workman’s Comp Provide Salary?
How much should I get?
Workman’s comp won’t provide your full salary while you are unable to work due to your injury, but it is legally required to provide a gross weekly take-home pay until you are able to return to work.
However, South Carolina also puts a cap on this number. For 2022, the maximum amount an injured worker can receive weekly in workers’ compensation benefits is $963.37, even if two-thirds of their usual weekly salary would be higher than that.
By contrast, you must receive a minimum of $75 per week, even if two-thirds of your usual weekly salary is less than that. However, if 100% of your usual weekly salary is less than $75, you will receive your usual weekly salary instead.
How soon do I get it?
You won’t be able to receive partial compensation for lost income unless your injury leaves you unable to work for at least seven days, and you won’t get payment for those first seven days unless your injury leaves you unable to work for at least 14 days.
For example, if you are unable to work for 5 days, you would not receive any partial compensation for those lost wages. If you are unable to work for 10 days, you would receive pay for 3 days (10 days minus 7 days). But if you were unable to work for 15 days, you would receive pay for all 15.
What about permanent injuries?
If you are permanently disabled, you can get additional benefits. Most injured workers are not considered “totally permanently disabled.” Instead, they may be “partially permanently disabled,” which means they can still work, but not for as long as before and/or not doing the same type of work as before.
In this case, you can receive two-thirds of the difference between your new, smaller salary and your original, larger salary in compensation (with the same weekly maximum cap).
Does Workman’s Comp Cover Medical Expenses?
Yes, workers’ compensation should cover all “needed and reasonable” medical care in full. This may include doctor’s visits, surgery, physical therapy, and medication.
However, you may be required to go to a doctor selected by your employer or their insurance company rather than your usual doctor for your treatment to be approved and covered.
What Else Does Workman’s Comp Cover?
You may also receive compensation for transportation to doctor appointments. For 2022, injured workers can receive 58.5 cents per mile in compensation.
Am I Eligible for Workman’s Comp?
Most workers in South Carolina, regardless of whether they are hourly, salaried, full-time, part-time, or temporary, are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, most is not all. Some types of workers are not guaranteed workers’ compensation, including federal employees in South Carolina, railroad and agricultural workers, workers at businesses with less than four employees, and corporate officers. If you are unsure whether your business owes you workers’ compensation benefits, contact our firm to speak with an experienced workers comp attorney.
Who’s at fault?
Because workers’ compensation is “no fault,” you can get compensation even without proving that your employer’s negligence caused your injuries. In fact, you can get compensation even if your own negligence caused your injuries! However, there are a few exclusions. For example, injuries caused by roughhousing or alcohol consumption are usually not covered by workers’ compensation.
What were you doing when it happened?
This is the most important qualifier for whether or not you are eligible: you must have been injured while working. As long as you were injured while working, it doesn’t even have to have happened on work property.
A common example of workers’ compensation claims is car accidents. For example, if an employee on the sales team was driving to a pitch meeting at a potential client’s office, and got into a car accident on the way there, they were performing work duties at the time so they ARE eligible. But if the meeting was over, and they were driving home for the day (rather than back to the office), they were no longer working, so any crash would NOT be eligible for workers’ compensation.
Did you make the deadline?
You must make a report to your employer within 90 days of the injury, and your employer has 10 days to file the report with the state workers’ compensation board. If they do not, you may file with the state compensation board yourself, but you are required to inform your employer first.
After that, you have two years to make a claim. This is why it is so important to always file an accident report with your employer. If you realize six months after an injury at work that you need compensation to cover your increasing medical bills, but you never filed a report with your employer, you won’t be able to file a workers’ compensation claim even though the statute of limitations hasn’t run out.
Get in Touch with a South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
Workers’ compensation claims are not the same as other types of injury claims, and you need a lawyer who is experienced with these types of claims and knows the rules and deadlines. Even if you already tried to file a claim on your own and had it rejected by the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, that doesn’t mean you can’t get the compensation you need.
Our lawyers have helped many injured South Carolinians win appeals on their workers’ compensation claims so they could get the money they deserve until they are able to work again.
Contact our team today for a free case evaluation.