When on-the-job accidents and injuries happen, workers’ compensation benefits provide a safety net for employees and their families. They can cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and future losses in earnings or benefits due to ongoing disabilities. Unfortunately, filing a workers’ compensation claim can be a confusing process. As an experienced Aiken workers’ compensation attorney, the following are five frequently asked questions we hear from our clients:
Do I Qualify For Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Workers’ compensation is a federally mandated program that acts as a type of insurance for employees. Administered by each state, it provides medical care, reimbursement of lost wages, and disability benefits for workers who are injured on the job. Under the South Carolina Code of Laws, companies with four or more workers must provide workers’ compensation insurance, both for full-time and part-time employees. As independent contractors are not generally not considered “employees,” they are typically not covered.
What Types of Injuries Are Covered?
Workers’ compensation covers injuries or illnesses sustained on the job or in the course of performing work-related tasks. While benefits are available to workers regardless of whether they were at fault for their injuries, there are limitations. Workers’ compensation benefits do not apply in the following situations:
If you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of your injuries
If they occurred while traveling to or from work
If they happened due to fights or other altercations with co-workers
If you ignored required safety precautions
How Do I Apply?
You have 90 days to report injuries or illnesses you suffer on the job to your supervisor so that a report can be filed. However, it is always best to report any incidents immediately and get medical treatment as soon as possible. To apply for benefits, you will need to submit a South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) claim Form 50. While you have up to two years to do this, the sooner you submit this form, the sooner you will get your benefits.
How Much Will My Workers’ Compensation Benefit Payments Be?
Under WCC guidelines, you are entitled to full reimbursement of any medical expenses you incur as a result of your injuries, including transportation costs to and from doctor appointments. You are also entitled to reimbursement of two thirds of your average weekly wages. If you suffer permanent impairments or the loss of use of a body part, this may entitled you to additional amounts in a settlement.
What Should I Do If My Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied?
Workers’ compensation claims are denied for a variety of reasons. These include disputes over how your injuries or their severity, as well as improperly submitted forms and lack of medical documentation. You have the right to appeal a denied claim, but must do so within WCC deadlines.
Let Us Help You Today
We hope the answers to these five frequently asked questions about workers’ compensation in South Carolina assist you. To protect your rights to benefits, get the Surasky Law Firm, LLC on your side. Contact our Aiken workers’ compensation attorney and request a consultation today.