Suffering an injury at work can be physically and financially devastating. Although injured workers can seek compensation via the South Carolina workers compensation system, this system can be challenging to navigate – and missing deadlines, making mistakes in paperwork, etc. can end up resulting in delayed or reduced benefits, if not the wrongful denial of benefits.
To help injured workers avoid some of these pitfalls, below we have answered some of the most commonly asked questions about South Carolina workers compensation claims. While these answers are general, you can get more specific information pertaining to you and your situation by contacting an attorney at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law today.
Q – How soon should I report a job-related injury to my employer?
A – As soon as possible and within 90 days of the accident or incident that caused the injuries in order to preserve your claim to benefits. Reporting work injuries after this 90 day period can result in a reduction in benefits or other complications.
While it’s important to report a work accident and injuries to an employer ASAP (and within 90 days of the incident), however, injured workers have up to two years to file a claim for workers compensation benefits. Similarly, claims for death benefits (following a fatal work accident) have to be filed within two years of the death.
Q – What do I need to do to get a workers compensation claim started in South Carolina?
A – Reporting the accident and injuries to an employer should get a claim started, as an employer should complete a claim and injury report on your behalf after you make this report.
If, however, an employer fails to file a claim on an injured worker’s behalf, the worker can file the claim on his own by completing and submitting a Form 50 or Form 52 to the South Carolina Workers Compensation Commission (SCWCC). Employers may fail to file claims when, for instance, they dispute that the injuries were sustained on the job.
Q – How much will my workers compensation benefits be and what are they supposed to cover?
A – In general, workers compensation benefits in South Carolina will be 66 2/3 percent of a worker’s average weekly wages, up to a set maximum (which is set by the SCWCC annually). These benefits include compensation to cover all necessary medical treatments to help injured workers recover from their injuries, including (but not necessarily limited to):
- Hospitalizations and surgeries
- Medical devices, supplies and medications
- Physical therapy.
Q – How long will I receive South Carolina workers compensation benefits?
A – It depends on the nature and severity of your work-related injuries. In general, however, workers compensation benefits can be terminated if or when:
- An injured worker’s doctor deems that the worker has recovered sufficiently to return to work
- The insurance provider determines that benefits should stop being paid.
It is important to note that both doctors and insurers can make mistakes in determining when benefits should be terminated. Consequently, it can be crucial to have an experienced attorney’s representation to ensure that you are receiving the full amount of benefits to which you are entitled (following a work accident).
Contact Columbia SC Injury Attorneys at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law
If you have been injured at work or if you have been diagnosed with an occupational disease, contact Columbia SC injury attorneys at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for clear answers about your rights and options for proceeding, as well as effective legal advocacy moving forward.
Call our firm at 866-881-8623 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.