Workers’ Comp FAQs Answered
- How do I report an on-the-job injury?
- Report all injuries at work to your employer immediately and request medical treatment, if needed. If you neglect to report the injury within 90 days of the accident you may lose your benefits.
- Although you must report the injury within 90 days, you have up to two years to file a claim for benefits. If a worker dies because of work-related injuries, the worker’s dependents, or parents if there are no dependents, must file a claim within two years of the death to claim benefits.
- How do I file a claim?
- You may personally file a claim if your employer does not report your accident, denies your injury by accident, or if you believe you did not receive all of your benefits.
- To file a claim you must submit a form 50 or form 52 to the commission. If you are unable to download these forms please contact the commissions claims department at 8037375732 to request the forms be mailed to you.
- When filing a claim on a form 50 or form 52, mark the box at the signature line, which states, “I am filing a claim. I am not requesting a hearing at this time.”
- What medical treatment am I entitled to receive?
- You are entitled to all necessary medical treatment that is likely to lessen your disability. Workers’ compensation generally pays for surgery, hospitalization, medical supplies, prosthetic devices, and prescriptions. Keep in mind that in order to receive these benefits you must go to the doctor chosen by your employer or its insurance representative.
- Will I get compensated for missing time from work because of my injury?
- There is a seven-day waiting period before benefits can be paid. If you are out of work for more than 7 days, payments will come from your employer’s insurance representative. If you are out of work for more than 14 days, you will receive compensation even for the first seven days.
- You can expect payments to be made directly to you and these should continue until the doctor releases you to return to work.
- When are my benefits terminated?
- After the doctor releases you to return to work with or without restrictions, within 150 days of notification of the accident, you should receive two copies of form 15 with Section II completed indicating that compensation has been stopped and for what reasons.
- If the insurance carrier stops your compensation, and if you disagree, complete section III of the form 15 and send it to the commission’s judicial department. This is your way to request a hearing to be held in 60 days.
- If you doctor releases you to work after the 150-day notification period, your employer or insurance representative will ask you to sign form 17, (receipt of compensation) after you have been back to work for 15 days.
- What if the doctor releases me to light duty?
- You must accept light work if it’s offered. If you do not accept, all compensation may cease as long as you refuse to return to work. You have a right to a hearing if you believe that you are not able to do the work assigned to you.
- If you return to light work before you are fully discharged by the doctor at a wage less than you were earning at the time of your original injury, you are entitled to weekly compensation at the rate of the sixty-six and two-thirds percent of the difference between your average weekly wage and your new wage.
- What if I receive an impairment rating or have a scar?
- When the doctor releases you with an impairment rating or if you have a non-surgical scar that can be seen at least eight feet away, the insurance carrier will request an informal conference/viewing. This is an opportunity for you to meet with a representative from the commission and the insurance carrier to determine the amount of compensation due.
- What is a hearing?
- The workers’ compensation commissioners conduct a hearing to resolve disputes between you and your employer’s representative. You may apply for a hearing if your employer does not report your accident, denies your injury by accident, or if you believe that you did not receive all of your benefits.
- You may download the form to apply for a hearing online or obtain it by contacting the commission’s judicial department at 8037375675 or by email to [email protected].
- Do I get reimbursed for my travel expenses when I go to the doctor?
- Yes, if the round trip distance is more than ten miles from your home. You should be reimbursed for the round trip mileage at the rate allowed state employees for mileage.
- Can I get a second opinion if I am not happy with the doctor to whom the insurance carrier refers me?
- You can talk to the insurance carrier and see if he or she will allow you to go to another doctor, or you can request a hearing by completing form 50 and have a commissioner make a determination on the case.
- Who sends me my weekly check?
- Your employer is required to have workers’ compensation insurance if they have four or more employees and the insurance carrier will be responsible to pay compensation to you if you are out of work for more than seven days.
Workers’ compensation laws are designed to provide an acceptable means of handling disabilities caused by work, though they aren’t always easy to understand. Because injured workers don’t always understand what is expected of them and what they are entitled to, they don’t always file claims that they should. Frequently asked questions are answered below to help you better understand how you should handle your injury. If you or your loved one have suffered an on-the-job injury and need help, please call the Dan Pruitt Law Firm at (864) 232-4273. We can help you get the compensation that you deserve.
- What qualifies as a “work-related” injury?
- How do I file a claim?
- Do I have to go to the doctor that my employer’s insurance company sent me to?
- What if I aggravated a pre-existing injury?
- How much will I be paid?
What qualifies as a “work-related” injury?
In South Carolina, any injury that you receive while you are working qualifies for Workers’ Compensation if you require medical treatment and you cannot return to your job, no matter the length of time. Some examples of work-related injuries include falls, burns, hernias due to exertion, and auto accidents while on duty.
The Dan Pruitt Law Firm is familiar with all types of workplace injuries and the different levels of compensation you are entitled to for each one.
How do I file a claim?
When you sustain an injury in the workplace, you must report it to your employer as soon as possible and ask for the appropriate medical treatment. It is important that you do this within 90 days of the accident because after that, you could lose your benefits. Although you must report the injury within 90 days of the accident, you have up to 2 years to file a claim to receive your benefits.
You may personally file a claim if your employer doesn’t report your accident, denies your injury by accident, or if you believe that you did not receive all of the benefits that you are entitled to. To file your own claim, you must submit a Form 50 or Form 52 to the commission.
To file a claim by yourself, you can locate the forms here: http://www.wcc.sc.gov/welcomeandoverview/forms/Pages/default.aspx
If you are concerned about how to file a Workers’ Compensation Claim, please contact the Dan Pruitt Law Firm.
Do I have to go to the doctor that my employer’s insurance company sent me to?
You are entitled to receive all necessary medical treatment that is able to lessen your disability, although to receive these benefits, you have to go to the doctor chosen by your employer or its insurance representative. These benefits generally include paying for surgery, hospitalization, medical supplies, prosthetic devices, and prescriptions.
If you are unhappy with the service provided to you by the doctor selected by your employer and want a second opinion, you can talk to the insurance carrier and see if he or she will let you go to another doctor. If this does not provide the answers that you were hoping for, you can request a hearing by completing Form 50 (find link in section above) and have a commissioner make a decision about the doctor.
If you are finding yourself going to a hearing, call the Dan Pruitt Law Firm to represent you and make sure you get the treatment that you deserve.
What if I aggravated a pre-existing injury?
If you have a pre-existing injury, you must medically establish that the injury you sustained at work has aggravated a pre-existing injury or physical condition that you have OR that the pre-existing condition or physical condition that you have aggravates the injury that you sustained at work.
If you are unsure about how to establish your pre-existing injury or physical condition, call the Dan Pruitt Law Firm.
How much will I be paid in compensation?
The law requires that you be paid 2/3 of your pay before taxes (this includes commissions, bonuses, and recent raises). You cannot be paid less than $75 dollars per week, as long as this isn’t more than you would normally make in a week. If you normally make less than $75 a week, you will be paid your average salary (not 2/3 of it).
There is a 7-day waiting period before benefits can be paid to you. If your injury causes you to be out of work for more than 7 days, payments will come from your employer’s insurance company. If you are out of work for more than 14 days, the original seven days during the waiting period will also be compensated. You can expect payments to be made directly to you, and these should continue until the doctor releases you to return to work.
If you have any concerns about how much you will be paid, or that you are not being paid enough in compensation for being out of work due to an injury, call the Dan Pruitt Law Firm. We can make sure that you are being paid fairly because we know that this is a difficult time for you and your loved ones.
Dan Pruitt is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from University of Georgia, and has been practicing law for 25 years. Dan Pruitt believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.