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Workers' Comp FAQ

Answers From An Experienced Greenville Attorney

Suffering an injury on the job or developing an illness connected with your employment is a serious challenge. The last thing you want to worry about is finding the money you need to pay medical bills and other costs, especially if you are out of work. In most cases, South Carolina employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance to help employees meet their financial expenses in these situations. Located in Greenville, the Dennison Law Firm, P.C. handles workers’ compensation claims and appeals, building strong cases for clients and answering key questions such as:

Who is eligible for workers’ compensation?

Most people who work at businesses with at least four employees are protected by workers’ compensation coverage. However, federal employees, farm workers and people in some other types of jobs don’t receive this type of protection. Sometimes, an issue arises as to whether an injured claimant is an independent contractor, who would not be covered by workers’ compensation.

Are my medical expenses covered if I’m hurt on the job?

Yes, medical bills arising from a job-related injury or illness are covered under workers’ compensation. These include associated costs, such as rehabilitation and travel expenses. If your employer or its insurance company is challenging whether a procedure is necessary or whether you’ve followed the prescribed course of treatment, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help.

Am I entitled to reimbursement for lost wages when I cannot work?

Yes, under South Carolina law, if you are completely unable to do your job due to a work-related injury or illness, you are entitled to collect two-thirds of your weekly wage, up to a limit set by the state each year. For 2019, the maximum weekly wage replacement amount is $845.74.

How long will my benefits last?

Once you are able to return to full work duties, your wage replacement payments end. If you are still limited by a total or partial disability after you have reached maximum medical improvement, compensation can be awarded on a lump-sum or periodic basis.

Do I have to prove that my employer was negligent?

No, workers’ compensation payments are provided regardless of whether the employer was at fault for the injury or illness. This helps you get the payments you need much more quickly and avoids an adversarial proceeding pitting you against your employer.

What happens if my claim for benefits is rejected?

After a denial or an award that you believe is insufficient, you can file a hearing request with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. If a question exists regarding the extent of your injury, the commission could require you to undergo a medical exam. You can be represented by an attorney and present evidence at a hearing before one commissioner. In the event the denial is not reversed, the next step is to seek review before three commission members. Following that, you may be able to file a court case alleging the commissioners evaluating your case did not follow the law.

Am I able to take legal action against a negligent third party?

Yes, though the workers’ compensation system prevents injury lawsuits against your employer, this bar does not apply if you were hurt at work due to the negligence of a third party. For example, if you are driving a vehicle during the course of your employment and are hit by a careless driver, you can obtain reimbursement for medical costs and lost wages through workers’ compensation and pursue other damages, such as compensation for pain and suffering, in a personal injury action against the negligent motorist.

Strict rules and deadlines exist, so it’s important to seek counsel from a seasoned workers’ compensation lawyer who can maximize the likelihood of a favorable result.

Contact a South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer for a consultation

The Dennison Law Firm, P.C. represents South Carolina clients in workers’ compensation proceedings and other legal matters. Please call or contact me online to schedule a consultation at my office in Greenville.

Answering Your Important Questions

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South Carolina Firm Assists Individuals Seeking Both Social Security Disability And Workers’ Compensation Benefits

The Dennison Law Firm, P.C. in Greenville stands up for the rights of South Carolina residents who are entitled to Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. My firm gives individuals suffering from serious disabilities the opportunity to support themselves and their loved ones even while they are unable to do their job. If you are in this position and are unsure of your options or are prepared to file a claim, my firm is ready to serve you.

Can A Claimant Receive Ssdi And Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Yes, it is possible to receive SSDI and Workers’ Compensation benefits at the same time. Both programs are designed to provide financial support for people whose medical condition prevents them from performing their job duties. However, the qualifying standards are different, so it is also possible to be eligible for one, and not the other. Someone who suffers a job-related injury or illness is eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits that provide reimbursement for medical bills and partial wage replacement. These payments can begin after the claimant has missed work for seven days. On the other hand, to collect SSDI, your medical condition does not have to be linked to your work, but must be severe enough so that it is expected to stop you from doing your job for at least 12 months. Accordingly, someone who has enough work credits in the SSDI system and is presumably disabled for at least 12 months due to an injury on the job can receive both types of benefits.

Do South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Benefits Affect Social Security Disability Payments?

Someone who suffers a job-related injury or illness is eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits that provide reimbursement for medical bills and partial wage replacement. If the medical condition is expected to keep the claimant out of work for at least 12 months, they might also qualify for SSDI benefits starting in the sixth month after becoming disabled. Under South Carolina law, wage replacement under Workers’ Comp is capped at two-thirds of the claimant’s normal rate of pay. For someone receiving both types of benefits, SSDI payments are capped once the total amount of the wage replacement equals 80 percent of the claimant’s regular wages.

Why Hire An Attorney To Handle Your Workers’ Comp And SSDI Claims?

Though your Workers’ Compensation and SSDI claim might arise from the same circumstance, the systems for obtaining each type of benefit are quite different. Retaining an attorney who skillfully represents claimants in both systems strengthens your ability to secure payments and helps you concentrate on your well-being rather than working with multiple law offices. My firm provides effective guidance and advocacy against insurance companies and government agencies. If you are eligible for both benefits, it is imperative that you seek the advice of an attorney before you settle your Workers’ Compensation case or apply for SSDI benefits.

What Happens When Benefits Are Denied?

There are many reasons why you might receive a denial when seeking Workers’ Compensation or SSDI payment. Fortunately, you do have options in both systems where you can attempt to change the result. I handle SSDI appeals for clients before Social Security Administration administrative law judges, as well as appeals submitted to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.

Contact a Greenville Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability attorney

The Dennison Law Firm, P.C. advises South Carolina clients on issues relating to Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability benefits. For a consultation regarding your situation and legal options, please call or contact me online. My office is in Greenville.