In addition to necessary medical treatment, workers’ compensation pays for loss of wages during a period of disability and compensation for permanent disability or disfigurement. Loss-of-wage compensation rates are based on 66.67 percent of your average weekly wage during the four quarters prior to your injury or illness. Benefits are capped at 100 percent of the statewide average weekly wage ($766.05 as of January 2015).

The maximum award for total disability or death is 500 weeks of compensation, unless your accident resulted in paraplegia, quadriplegia or a physical brain injury, in which case you may be eligible for lifetime benefits.

If, when you’re ready to return to work, your physician reports that you have a percentage of permanent impairment from your injury, you may receive additional compensation. The amount of compensation is decided during a conference with the S.C. Workers’ Compensation Commission and it is based on the body part that is permanently impaired, as well as the percentage of disability assigned by the commission. Disfigurement and scarring may also qualify a worker for additional benefits, but typically only if “you have a non-surgical scar that can be seen at least eight feet away.”

If your case involves lost wages, it is very important to get help from a qualified workers’ compensation attorney who can protect your right to fair benefits. The stakes are often very high in cases that involve permanent disability – and particularly those in which lifetime benefits are a factor. Employers and their insurance companies are likely to dispute claims when so much money is on the line.

Joye Law Firm’s workers’ compensation attorneys deal with the system every day. We can help you fight for the full benefits the law says you deserve. Just call Joye Law Firm now for a free consultation about your workers’ compensation claim. You can reach us by phone or fill out our online contact form.