If you’re injured on the job, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. The benefits are designed to cover the cost of not working as well as medical costs incurred as a result of your injury. Here are five essential facts you should know before making a claim.
1. Most South Carolina Workers Are Covered
Under South Carolina law, all businesses with four or more employees must provide their employees with workers’ compensation coverage. There are exceptions for the railroad and agricultural industries, and some businesses with low payroll costs may also be exempted.
If you are a partner, a business owner, or a freelancer you may not be covered, but the majority of workers in South Carolina have workers’ comp coverage.
2. You Don’t Have to Prove Negligence
When you bring a personal injury lawsuit against another party, you have to prove they were negligent, but the standards for workers’ comp are different. As long as you sustained your injury while on the job, you are entitled to receive compensation.
3. Workers’ Comp Provides Weekly Benefits
If you qualify for workers’ compensation, you can receive weekly benefits. The benefits are worth ⅔ of your weekly salary up to a set maximum. As of 2020, the maximum workers’ comp benefit in South Carolina is $866.67 per week, and this number gets adjusted every January.
If you are permanently disabled, you can receive benefits for up to 500 weeks. People who suffer brain damage or paralysis may receive weekly benefits for life.
4. You May Be Entitled to Benefits Even If You Can Work
In some cases, you may suffer an injury that prevents you from doing your regular job but allows you to keep working in another capacity. In this situation, you can receive temporary partial benefits for up to 340 weeks. These benefits pay ⅔ of the difference between your current and past job.
For instance, if you normally earn $1000 a week but take a job earning $400 after your injury, the difference is $600, and you can qualify for $400 in weekly workers’ comp benefits.
5. Workers’ Comp Can Provide Additional Benefits
In addition to weekly payments, you may qualify for some lump sum benefits. The workers’ comp program in South Carolina has a schedule which outlines potential payments for certain disabilities. For instance, if you lose total use of a foot, you can receive the equivalent of ⅔ of your income for 140 weeks.
Disabilities not listed on the schedule may lead to the equivalent of up to ⅔ of your wages times 500 weeks. If you suffer disfigurement to your face, head, or other visible body parts, you may receive additional compensation for up to 50 weeks.
Workers compensation claims can also include the following:
- Medical benefits
- Travel costs for medical care
- Vocational rehab
- Death benefits
- Up to $12,000 in funeral expenses.
In most cases, you need to make a claim within 90 days of your injury so you need to act quickly, and when applying, you need the right workers comp attorney in your corner.
A South Carolina Super Lawyer for workers’ compensation, Ryan Montgomery can provide you with the personalized attention and expertise you need for your case. To learn more, call us to set up a no-cost case evaluation today.