Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina: Frequently Asked Questions
Outside of a few limited exceptions, South Carolina requires any employer who employs four or more workers (full or part-time) to obtain worker’s compensation insurance. This article contains some of the most frequently asked questions by injured workers regarding worker’s compensation benefits.
How Long Do I Have to Report a Workplace Injury to My Employer?
You should report an on-the-job injury to your employer immediately and seek medical treatment if necessary. An injured worker must report the injury to his or her employer within 90 days of the accident. Following notification of the injury, the employer has 10 days to report the injury to South Carolina’s Worker’s Compensation Commission.
How Do I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
An injured worker must file a workers’ compensation claim within two years of the accident by filing a Form 50 or Form 52 with South Carolina’s Worker’s Compensation Commission, which are available online.
Can My Employer Terminate Me for Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Under South Carolina law Section 41-1-80, no employer may discharge or demote any employee because the employee has instituted or caused to be instituted, in good faith, any proceeding under Title 42 of the 1976 Code (Worker’s Compensation Law), or has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding. Any employer who is in violation of this provision can be held liable for lost wages resulting from a violation. An employee who is wrongfully discharged or demoted under this provision is entitled to reinstatement to his/her former position.
What if My Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied by My Employer?
Despite the fact that the worker’s compensation system is designed to protect injured workers and is a no-fault system, your employer and its insurance company may try to limit your benefits as much as possible or disqualify you for coverage altogether. Some of the reasons for denial include a failure to follow proper procedures, claiming the accident was your fault (e.g., you were under the influence of alcohol), or that the injury is due to a pre-existing condition. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision by requesting a hearing, which will occur in front of a Commissioner. The second level of the appeals process is known as a Commission Review, which consists of a panel of three Commissioners. The final right of appeal is through the South Carolina Court of Appeals. You should contact a worker’s compensation attorney as soon as possible if your claim has been denied, as you have a limited period of time to make an appeal.
Consult an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Filing a worker’s compensation claim can be a complicated process, during which one of any number of mistakes may limit or eliminate your chances to be approved for the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. If you are injured or become ill on the job, you should seek the advice of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible to help you with your claim. Please contact the experienced Worker’s Compensation attorneys at Wallace Childers PLLC for assistance with your claim.