The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act determines how people who are hurt at work, or who develop a work-related illness, are compensated. Workers’ comp is very different from other areas of the law. It has its own set of statutes and regulations which govern the benefits to which an injured employee are entitled.
South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Facts
We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 facts you may not know about South Carolina workers’ compensation. We hope they help to answer some of your questions.
1. If you are injured at work in South Carolina, you may be entitled to benefits under workers’ compensation law.
2. Workers’ compensation is “no-fault.”
- It doesn’t matter if you caused your own injury by being careless. If you are otherwise eligible, you are entitled benefits unless you intentionally hurt yourself, you were intoxicated, or you committed fraud (for example, lied about being hurt at work).
- Nor does it matter if you were hurt because your employer was negligent. That won’t increase the value of your claim.
3. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, not your boss, will have to pay your benefits.
4. Most employees are covered under workers’ compensation laws, but there are a few exceptions, including:
- employees of businesses with fewer than four employees
- employees of businesses with a total annual payroll of less than $3,000
- agricultural workers
- some realtors
- employees of railway express and railroad companies
- some casual (or temporary) employees
- corporate officers
- federal employees working in South Carolina
5. If you are injured at work, you should report it to management right away.
- It is best to report it in writing—and keep a copy—so your employer cannot later deny you gave them notice.
- In most cases, you will not be allowed to receive any benefits if you do not report the injury within 90 days.
6. Your employer cannot legally fire you in relation to you filing a workers’ compensation claim.
- If they do, you can sue them.
7. Your employer’s insurance company must pay for your medical treatment from day one.
- medical supplies
- prosthetic devices
8. The employer’s insurance company must pay your travel expenses for going to the doctor if the round trip is more than ten miles.
- Too many times, injured workers aren’t told about this benefit. Mileage reimbursement may total hundreds of dollars in some cases.
9. If your doctor releases you to return to work with restrictions, and your employer offers you light-duty work, you must accept that work—otherwise, you will lose benefits.
- If you return to light work before being fully released by your doctor, and you earn less than you did at the time you injured, you will be entitled to two-thirds of the difference between the two wages.
- You can request a hearing if you believe you are not able to do the light work your employer assigns you.
10. Work-related illnesses are also covered under workers’ compensation law.
- Illnesses or conditions caused by exposure to harmful conditions (such as mold) or products (such as caustic chemicals)
Contact our South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you have been hurt at work, you will have many questions right after the accident and during your treatment and recovery.