Workers' compensation in South Carolina is meant to benefit employers and employees alike, but particularly employees. Generally, workers' comp is a type of insurance employers carry to avoid litigation while acting as a source of financial and medical support to employees when they have been injured on the job. The type and extent of benefits depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. Workers' comp payments are not equivalent to paychecks, so it is important that workers get the maximum they are allowed.
At Jung Disability and Injury Advocates, our workers' compensation lawyer in Charleston helps clients understand how workers' compensation laws work, including the benefits that should be provided in any given situation. If you have been injured on the job but your employer is challenging your claim in all or in part, contact us at (843) 576-4200 to schedule a free consultation. We will review your case and advise you accordingly.
South Carolina Workers' Compensation Benefits
Workers' compensation benefits are typically available to workers who have been injured while on the job. They provide injured workers with the financial and medical support they need due to the job injury or job-related illness. These benefits are issued based on each state's workers' compensation rates.
Workers' compensation benefits are generally paid by the employer through a workers' comp insurance policy. In most states, this type of insurance is required for most employers – in some states, like California, all employers regardless of size must have it while in a state like Texas, it's an elective. The cost of these benefits vary greatly depending on the size of the business, the number of employees, the type of work the employees perform, the laws of the state, and the insurer.
Workers' compensation does not cover all injuries that happen in the workplace. Reasons why workers' compensation benefits may be denied include:
- The injuries were received in a fight initiated by the employee
- The injuries were received while the employee voluntarily participated in horseplay
- The injuries were received while the employee engaged in an illegal activity
- The injuries were received while the employee was intoxicated
Most states have their own requirements and system for administering workers' compensation benefits. This means that while there are a lot of similarities between the programs in each state, there are also differences. The discussion of the benefits listed below are an overview of how these benefits are generally treated in most states. If you live in South Carolina, contact our workers' compensation attorney to get more specific information.
Workers' Comp Medical Benefits in South Carolina
Medical benefits available under workers' compensation generally include full payment for all costs associated with necessary medical treatment. Medical treatment includes things like but not limited to:
- Hospital visits
- Doctor visits
These benefits may be capped pursuant to the relevant jurisdiction and workers' compensation policy. Workers' compensation benefits can also pay for equipment that is needed by the injured worker, like crutches or a wheelchair.
Also, keep in mind that payment of these benefits may limit which doctor an employee sees. Most employers require employees to see only company-designated medical professionals.
Rehabilitation Benefits in South Carolina
Workers's compensation covers rehabilitation benefits for injured workers, including physical and occupational therapy. It may also cover vocational rehabilitation for injured workers who can no longer perform their previous job duties. This is a way to help injured employees develop new skills so they can transition to a different job or even a new field of work.
These benefits are customized to meet the needs of the injured worker. It aims to enable the employee to find employment that pays the same, or close to the same, as the job they lost.
Disability / Income Benefits in South Carolina
The big concern when injured on the job is wages: when will the injured employee get paid again? Four types of disability/income benefits are available through workers' compensation.
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD): TTD is available to an employee who has been completely disabled for a short period of time. For example, imagine an employee who injured their neck, resulting in the inability to perform their job duties for four weeks. After four weeks, they are able to return to their job with no accommodations needed.
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): TPD is available to an employee who has been partially disabled for a short period of time. For example, imagine an employee who injures their back and can only work on a part-time basis while the injury heals.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD): PTD is available to an employee who has been completely and permanently disabled. For example, imagine an employee who severely injured their spinal cord and is paralyzed, rendering them unable to ever again perform their job functions.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): PPD is available to an employee who is partially and permanently disabled. For example, imagine an employee who permanently injures their hand while working, rendering them unable to perform the same job as before and causing them to earn less money.
The amount each type pays depends on the state as well as the facts and circumstances.
Workers' Comp Death Benefits in South Carolina
Workers' compensation benefits typically include burial benefits for a worker who dies due to a work-related illness or injury. The amount paid depends on state law.
Death benefits are generally available for the family members of an employee who dies due to a work-related injury or illness. These benefits may be available for the:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving dependent children
- Surviving dependent grandchildren
- Other surviving dependent family members
Each state will clarify who is able to receive death benefits in their jurisdiction. The purpose of these death benefits is to compensate the family members for the loss of financial support they have suffered with their family member's death.
We work to pay our bills and improve our overall quality of life for ourselves and our loved ones. When an unexpected injury occurs while working in South Carolina, it can upend anyone's life. Making sure you get the resources you need to recover is critical, and that's exactly what we do at Jung Disability and Injury Advocates.
Contact us either by filling out our online form or calling us at (843) 576-4200. We will schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.