The workers’ compensation program in South Carolina offers monetary benefits to the worker and payment for medical care due to an illness or injury caused an accident on the job. Employees injured while working or those who become ill due to their occupational environment are also eligible to receive benefits under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation law.
If approved for compensation, an injured worker can receive either temporary or permanent benefits based on the complexity of their injury or illness. There are several factors that help determine the amount and duration of time an employee may receive Spartanburg, South Carolina workers’ comp. A lawyer who specializes in workers’ compensation cases can help injured employees obtain the fair compensation that they deserve and assist if the victim feels that they need more time to recover, or if they require permanent payout.
What Benefits are Available through Spartanburg, South Carolina Workers’ Comp?
When an employee becomes injured while on the job, they usually start to wonder about the type of benefits they will receive once they have their claim approved. Typically, injured workers have the right to receive one or more of the four following types of benefits.
Weekly Compensation for Lost Wages
Weekly workers’ compensation benefits, known as temporary total disability (TTD), are paid while the worker is temporarily unable to work under a doctor’s orders. Disabled employees receive these monetary benefits, and the amount is based on the complexity of their injury (the number of body parts injured or affected). The type of weekly compensation received is based on two factors, if the disability is temporary or permanent, and if the disability is total or partial.
Weekly compensation for lost wages paid at the worker’s compensation rate provides weekly income that sort of mimics the worker’s paycheck. The worker’s compensation rate is calculated at two-thirds of their average weekly wage, and no taxed are taken for these checks. Because most workers take home about two-thirds of their gross pay after taxes, workers’ compensation weekly benefits usually are about equal to their take home pay – though not always.
The insurance company providing coverage for workers’ compensation pays for all the necessary medical care
related to an injured worker’s job-related injury or illness. This medical care does not include treatment for any health condition that the person already has, unless the work injury aggravated the pre-existing condition.
Medical care benefits cover the doctor visits, cost of prescriptions, physical therapy sessions, surgery, and other necessary care provided by a medical professional. Injured employees who see the doctor selected by their employer or the company’s insurance team, the doctor or hospital receives payment directly from either the employer or the insurance company. If the worker decides to go to their own family physician for treatment, they will not receive compensation for their medical bills unless he insurance company agrees to do so.
Compensation for Permanent Disability
There are two types of workers’ compensation benefits for permanent disability cases.
Permanent Partial Disability is a benefit paid to workers who are permanently impaired in some way. These workers are eligible to receive additional benefits known as PPD or permanent partial disability payments. These benefits pay two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage to compensate for their disability.
Permanent Total Disability occurs when the worker suffers a total loss of earning capacity. The worker can be compensated up to 500 weeks in this circumstance, and for life if the injury involves paralysis or permanent brain damage.
What is an Informal Conference?
When an employee’s injury becomes a permanent disability, an informal conference takes place. This conference will include one or more representatives from the insurance company, and a Commissioner of Claims Mediator. The purpose of the Conference is to determine the amount of benefits the injured employee will receive for their permanent disability in total. It is critical that the worker attends this conference, or sends a notification to the Commission if they are unable to make it. However, workers should know that the employer/carrier will be represented by their attorney at the informal conference, and it is often unwise to proceed without having an attorney representing the injured worker.
When Are Workers’ Comp Benefits Terminated in South Carolina?
Once a physician releases an employee and states that they may return to work either with or without restrictions, within 150 days after their accident, the worker should receive two copies of Form 15 with Section II completed. This section indicates that workers’ compensation benefits have stopped and the reasons why.
When an insurance company stops an employee’s workers’ comp benefits, and the injured person disagrees with the termination of benefits, they may complete Section III of Form 15 and submit it to the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s Judicial Department. This begins the process of requesting a hearing that should take place within the following 60 days.
If a physician releases an employee and states that they can return to work after the 150-day notification period, their employer or a representative from the insurance company providing the benefits will request that the employee signs a Form 17 or Receipt of Compensation form. This happens after the worker has been back at their job for 15 days.
What to Do If You Disagree with the Length of Time You Receive Workers’ Comp Benefits
If you did not receive the amount of workers’ comp benefits that you feel you deserved, or you didn’t receive compensation long enough to fully recover, you need to file for a hearing with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. To do this, it is best to hire a workers’ comp attorney for legal assistance. They can help you build up a compelling case that will fight against the insurance company’s decision so that you will receive the fair compensation you deserve.
Consult with a Spartanburg Workers’ Comp Attorney to Discuss Your Benefits
Contact Double Aught Injury Lawyers today for a FREE case review and information on how they can help you take care of yourself and your family during this challenging time.