If you have been injured at work, you may be facing significant stress about how you will pay your medical bills and support yourself if you are unable to work. South Carolina workers’ compensation benefits can help you to get through these tough times.
You are entitled to receive 100 percent coverage for all medical treatment that you need as a direct result of the injuries you sustain on the job. This includes:
- Hospital stays
- Transportation to medical appointments
You must see the doctor chosen by your employer or the insurance company, though in some instances it is possible to switch medical providers or obtain a second opinion. Additionally, in some instances, you may require medical treatment in the future (sometimes for the rest of your life). Medical benefits are very important and must be handled in a way that not only preserves your right to treatment, but also ensures compliance with state and federal laws regarding coverage for such treatment.
After you have missed at least seven days of work because of your injury, you are entitled to receive lost wage benefits. These benefits are based on your average weekly wage at the time you were hurt. These benefits do not pay your full salary. Instead, you are paid 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage (up to the state maximum).
Once your absence from work due to the injury exceeds 14 days, you are eligible for lost wage benefits paid retroactively and dating back to the time when the accident happened. From that point forward, you are entitled to receive weekly checks through workers’ compensation so long as a doctor authorized by the insurance company either holds you out of work or places restrictions upon you that your employer is unable to accommodate.
Final Disability Benefits
Most often, a workers’ compensation injury results in entitlement to a final award. An award may be limited to the value of an injury to a particular body part, it may be based upon your inability to earn the same wages in the future that you were earning at the time of your injury, or it may be based upon your permanent inability to work at all in light of your injuries. An attorney can help you sort through which of these benefit options may be available to you in a given case, and can make a tremendous difference in maximizing the benefits available under each.
When a workplace injury is fatal, workers’ compensation will provide payment of reasonable funeral expenses as well as a final award which is payable to the decedents’ beneficiaries (who are defined by law).