South Carolina Workers' Compensation Laws
UPDATED: October 28, 2012
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Workplace injuries and occupational diseases fall under the umbrella of South Carolina workers' compensation law. South Carolina workers' compensation laws detail the benefits that an injured or ill worker may receive to help him during his recovery period, as well as the procedures necessary for claiming those benefits.
Claims under South Carolina Workers' Compensation Laws
If an employee is injured at work because of a workplace accident, the injuries resulting from the accident will be covered by his employer's workers' compensation insurance. However, if the worker was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, or if his injury was self-inflicted, he will not be able to receive benefits under the South Carolina workers' compensation system.
If you develop an illness because your employment is hazardous and you have been repeatedly exposed to unhealthy conditions at your workplace, the illness is considered an occupational illness and will also be covered by South Carolina workers' compensation laws.
Lastly, in the unfortunate event that an employee dies because of his work-related injury or illness, his dependents may be paid death benefits under workers' compensation.
South Carolina Workers' Compensation Benefits
When South Carolina workers are injured on the job or contract occupational diseases, the employer's workers' compensation insurance will pay for any hospital bills or doctors' visits the injured or ill employee incurs in getting medical treatment for the injury or illness. The worker may also be reimbursed for the mileage costs of traveling to and from appointments for medical treatment, and for the wages he loses because he must travel to have his injury treated. Funeral expenses of $2,500 and death benefits may also be paid to the surviving dependent relatives of an employee who dies from his job-related injury or illness.
Income replacement benefits are also available to assist the injured or sick employee while he recovers from his injury or illness. These benefits are an important part of many South Carolina workers' compensation claims. The type of workers' compensation income replacement benefit depends on the severity and duration of the injury.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD) are available at the rate of 2/3 of the worker's average weekly wage when an employee's work-related injury is severe enough to prevent him from working for a period of time. Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD) are paid to a worker whose injury prevents him from performing all of his old duties, but does not prevent him from doing some work. TPD payments are the difference between the worker's current reduced salary and 2/3 of his average weekly wage prior to his injury.
If your injury is permanent, you will be eligible for either Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD) or Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD). An injury that completely prevents you from seeking any kind of gainful employment makes you eligible for PTD benefits for 500 weeks at 2/3 of your pre-injury average weekly wage. In contrast, an injury that permanently impairs you in some way (for instance, loss of limb), but does not make it impossible for you to work in some capacity, entitles you to PPD benefits. The amount of compensation possible is statutory and dependent on the kind of illness or injury you suffered.
South Carolina Workers' Compensation Statutes
To consult the full text of all relevant South Carolina workers' compensation statutes, see the latest online version of the South Carolina Code of Laws.
Employers Subject to Workers' Compensation: Workers' Compensation, Title 42, Chp.1, Art.3; Covered Employees: Workers' Compensation, Title 42, Chp.1, Art.3; Benefits: Workers' Compensation, Title 42, Chp.9; Claims Procedure: Workers' Compensation, Title 42, Chp.15.