Working in Rock Hill, South Carolina is a great way to support your family while still having time to enjoy the many activities that the city has to offer. However, if you are an injured employee, you may be wondering how long you can receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation is a system that provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their job. Workers comp insurance is typically required by law in most states, and it provides employees with medical coverage and income replacement benefits if they are unable to work.
If you have suffered an on-the-job injury, it is important to contact a Rock Hill workers’ compensation lawyer at The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor today. We value the attorney-client relationship, and we will help you file a workers’ compensation claim, understand your rights and options, and fight for the full benefits you are entitled to.
Workers’ Compensation is a Statutory System
Pursuant to South Carolina Code of Laws Title 42 – Workers’ Compensation: all employers who regularly employ 4 or more employees are required to obtain and maintain workers’ compensation insurance.
The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission is the administrative agency that oversees the day-to-day administration of the State’s workers’ compensation laws. When disputes arise between an injured worker and the workers’ compensation insurance company, the matter is heard first before an administrative law judge called a Commissioner.
Unlike their neighbors to the North, the South Carolina legislator had the wisdom to create the Uninsured Employer Fund. In the event that you are injured working for an employer that should have had insurance, but did not, the Uninsured Employer Fund steps in to provide benefits.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Benefits Cover in Rock Hill, SC?
Workers’ compensation provides several different types of benefits, which include:
- Medical Benefits: Covers the cost of medical treatment for your work-related injury or illness. This can include doctor’s visits, hospital stays, surgery, prescription medication, and mileage reimbursement.
- Indemnity Benefits: If you are unable to work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to temporary total disability. These benefits are typically two-thirds of your average weekly wage, and is referred to as your compensation rate. There is a maximum compensation rate that is set by statute and is adjusted annually. If you are able to work but you are unable to earn the same wages because of your injuries, you may be entitled to temporary partial disability. These benefits are typically two-thirds of the difference between your average weekly wage and your lowered post injury wages.
- Permanent Partial Disability: At the conclusion of your medical care, if your doctor determines that you have a permanent impairment, they will assign an impairment “rating.”
- Death Benefits: If an employee dies as a result of their job-related injuries, their surviving spouse and dependent children may be eligible for death benefits.
How Do I File a Claim for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Rock Hill, SC?
If you have been injured or become ill as a result of your job, you should immediately notify your employer. Your employer should report it to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier and the carrier should report it to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. But, don’t count on the employer or their carrier doing what they should do. Instead, you should either call a Rock Hill, SC workers’ compensation attorney or file a Form 50 with the Workers’ Compensation Commission by mail, fax, or online. Once your claim has been filed, the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission will provide notice to your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance company who will then determine if they are going to accept or deny compensability.
If your claim is approved, you will begin receiving benefits within a few weeks.
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you should call a Rock Hill, SC workers’ compensation attorney. If you feel like going it alone, you can do that by filing an additional Form 50, but this time, request a hearing.
How Long Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Rock Hill, SC?
The amount of time you can receive workers’ compensation benefits depends on the severity of your injury or illness. For example, if you have a minor injury that heals quickly, you may only receive benefits for a few weeks. However, if you have a more serious injury that requires long-term treatment or prevents you from returning to work, you may be eligible for benefits for a longer period.
The severity of your injury and the length of time you are entitled to receive benefits, is, in almost every case, determined by a medical expert. Once you have been placed at maximum medical improvement and released to work in some capacity, the workers’ compensation insurance company will seek to terminate benefits.
Additionally, in South Carolina, with few exceptions, temporary total disability is limited to 500 weeks. There are some circumstances in which your benefits may be cut off. For example, if you refuse a job offer within your medical restrictions, you may no longer be eligible for benefits. If you refuse medical treatment ordered by your authorized provider, your eligibility may be terminated until you comply with treatment. And, if the workers’ compensation insurance company discovers that you are working elsewhere or doing things that are outside of your restrictions, you may lose your entitlement to benefits.
How Will I Receive My Workers’ Compensation Settlement?
Your workers’ compensation benefits will be paid directly to you in the form of a check or direct deposit. You should receive your benefits within a few weeks after your claim has been accepted as compensable.
Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Compensation Claims in Rock Hill, SC
It is important to note that there is a statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims in South Carolina. This means that you have a limited amount of time to file your claim. In general, you have 30 days to report your injury to your employer and two years from the date of your injury or diagnosis to file a claim. However, the longer you wait the higher the likelihood that your claim will be denied. Give notice to your employer as soon as possible.
If you were diagnosed with an occupational disease, you have two years from the date you knew or should have known that your illness was work-related. Additionally, if you are filing a claim for a death benefit, you have two years from the date of death to file.
If you do not file your claim within the statute of limitations, you will be unable to receive benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Disability Benefit Levels in Rock Hill, SC
There are four levels of disability benefits available to injured workers in South Carolina:
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits: You are entitled to these benefits if you are temporarily unable to work due to your injuries.
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits: You are entitled to these benefits if you can work, but earn less than you did before your injury.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits: You are entitled to these benefits if at the time your authorized treating physician determines you are maximum medical improvement, you have some degree of permanent impairment.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits: You are entitled to these benefits if your disability is one of those defined in § 42-9-10(b) and (c) of the S.C. Code of Laws.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me with My Workers’ Comp Claim?
If you suffered a workplace injury, it’s important to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you navigate the claim process and ensure that you receive the benefits you need and deserve.
The workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor have helped countless injured workers in Rock Hill and throughout South Carolina. We are here to help you every step of the way. From filing your claim to fighting a denial of benefits.
Contact the Rock Hill, SC Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor Today
You deserve to get the full benefits that you are entitled to under workers’ compensation. If you have been injured at work, and need help with your workers’ comp case, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced attorney.
At The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor in Rock Hill, we work hard to get North and South Carolina workers the compensation they need so they can focus on recovery and get back to work as soon as possible. Contact us today for a free consultation.