Frequently Asked Questions
What is the first thing I need to do if I am injured on the job?
Report the accident/injury to your employer or supervisor immediately and request medical treatment, if needed. You must report your injury to your employer within 90 days of the date of accident/injury to be eligible for benefits under the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.
Do I have to get treatment from the doctor that my employer and/or the workers’ compensation insurance carrier chooses?
Yes. However, if you disagree with their doctor’s assessment and/or treatment, you can request to seek a second opinion from another doctor.
Will I get paid if I miss time from work due to my injury?
If the authorized treating physician takes you out of work due to your injury, you will be entitled to receive benefits once you have been out of work for seven consecutive days. If you miss more than fourteen consecutive days of work due to your injury, you will receive compensation for the first seven days.
How is my compensation rate determined?
Generally, you are entitled to a compensation rate of 66 2/3 % of your average weekly wage based upon your wages for the four quarters prior to your injury. You do not have to pay taxes on these benefits.
How long will I receive benefits for the time that I miss from work?
If the authorized treating physician releases you to return to work within 150 days of notification of the accident/injury, your compensation will most probably be stopped as soon as you return to work. If the authorized treating physician releases you to return to work after the 150 day notification period, your employer and/or the workers’ compensation insurance carrier will ask you to sign a Form 17 to consent to your benefits being stopped, or a hearing will be held to determine whether or not they can stop your benefits.
If my doctor releases me to work on light duty, do I have to accept light work if it is offered?
Yes. If you do not accept, your compensation may stop. If you are unable to do the work assigned to you, you have a right to request a hearing.
Do I get reimbursed for travel expenses when I go to the doctor?
If the round trip distance is more than ten miles from your home, you should be reimbursed by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier at the rate of 50.5 cents per mile.
Do I get paid for permanent disability as a result of any permanent medical impairment from my work-related injury?
Yes. If an agreement regarding compensation for permanent impairment cannot be reached between you and the workers’ compensation insurance carrier, a hearing may be held to determine the amount of compensation you are due for permanent partial disability. Under some circumstances, you may be totally disabled if you have sustained a total loss of earning capacity as result of the work injury. In that case, you may be entitled to compensation for permanent and total disability.
Can I bring a separate legal action against my employer if my employer’s negligence and/or a co-worker’s negligence caused or contributed to my work-related injury?
No. The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act covers work-related injuries.
Can my employer fire me for filing a workers’ compensation claim?
No. It is against the law for an employer to fire you solely based upon your filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, an employer may still fire you despite the firing being unlawful.