If you suffer an injury at work or become ill when performing your job duties, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This is an insurance program that makes payments to employees who suffer any type of work-related injury or illness. Employees eligible for workers’ compensation in Charleston may receive benefits to cover lost wages and medical bills, regardless of who was at fault for the accident in question. In exchange for taking workers’ compensation, employees give up their right to file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer.
The process of applying for benefits be complicated, which is why it’s important to seek the assistance of a trusted workers’ compensation attorney at The Rembert Law Firm. Our team fully understands the process and will keep you informed all the way through.
Basic eligibility requirements
There are three main eligibility requirements when it comes to workers’ compensation in South Carolina:
- The employer must have workers’ comp insurance: Not every employer must carry this coverage. The requirements for the employer vary based on the number of employees, the type of business and the kind of work being performed. Before you begin the application process, make sure your employer is covered.
- You must be an employee: Not all workers are legally classified as employees. An independent contractor, for example, is not an employee and therefore would not be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. There are some circumstances in which an employer could even dispute the status of your employment during a workers’ compensation claim.
- The injury or illness must be related to your work: If you were doing something that was for the benefit of your employer and became injured or ill during this task, it is considered a work-related injury. The definition of “work-related” can become hazy if an injury occurs while you’re doing something not typically associated with your job.
Your workers’ compensation attorney in South Carolina will provide you with more information about your eligibility for these benefits.
Answers to common questions on workers’ compensation
At The Rembert Law Firm, we regularly receive questions from people who need more information on workers’ compensation in South Carolina. Below are answers to a few of those most common questions:
How do I report my injuries?
You should report your work-related injury to your employer immediately and then seek medical treatment (if necessary). If you fail to report the injury within 90 days, you will likely lose your ability to file for workers’ compensation benefits.
Although you have just 90 days to report the injury, you have two years to file a workers’ compensation claim in South Carolina. If the injury results in a person’s death, his or her loved ones may file a claim within two years.
What do I have to do to file a claim?
To file a claim, you must download, fill out and submit a Form 50 or Form 52 to the state Workers’ Compensation Commission. You may also call the agency’s claims department at 803-737-5723 to request the forms to be mailed to you. When filling out the form, check the box that states, “I am filing a claim. I am not requesting a hearing at this time.”
What medical treatment can I receive?
You may seek any medical treatment deemed necessary to lessen your disability. Your workers’ compensation benefits usually pay for surgeries, hospitalization, medical supplies, prescriptions, and various other medical costs. However, you must go to the doctor that either your employer or its insurance provider requests.
How is my amount of compensation determined?
You are entitled to compensation that equals 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage based on the previous four quarters before your injury. However, you may receive no more than the maximum average weekly wage determined each year by the South Carolina Employment Security Commission. If you had been working multiple jobs, all those wages will typically be included as part of the average weekly wage and compensation rate.
There is a seven-day waiting period before benefits can be paid. If you are out of work for more than seven days, payments will come from your employer’s insurance representative. If you are out of work for more than 14 days, you will receive compensation even for the first seven days.
You can expect payments to be made directly to you and these should continue until the Doctor releases you to return to work.
Consult an experienced Charleston workers’ compensation lawyer
To learn more about the application process for workers’ compensation benefits, speak with a trusted attorney The Rembert Law Firm. Our attorneys work with you so you can get the compensation you need after a serious workplace accident. Call our office at (843) 605-4620 or contact us online to get started.