Workers’ Compensation

How does a doctor’s impairment rating affect the value of my case?

In the vast majority of cases, the employer will send you to a doctor of their choice. When the doctor determines that you have reached maximum medical improvement (that you are as good as you are going to get medically) then they will often issue a percentage rating for your injuries. For example, let’s say that you have an injury to your shoulder and the doctor (picked by the employer) assigns an 10% rating to the shoulder. Your case may then be worth 30 weeks of benefits.

What is my compensation rate?

Your compensation rate is determined by taking 66 and 2/3% of your average weekly wage. Your compensation rate is also limited by the SC Workers’ Compensation to a certain amount. For example, in 2018, the weekly rate was set at $838.21 for injuries arising after January 1, 2018. This weekly rate changes every year.

How long do you have to file a claim for benefits?

You usually have up to two years to file a claim for benefits. If you had a repetitive trauma injury, you can file within two years after you could have reasonably known you had the injury. However, you are barred from filing the claim more than 7 years after the last date you were exposed to the repetitive trauma.

Can I be fired or demoted for filing a workers’ compensation claim?

Under 41-1-80, South Carolina protects workers who file a workers’ compensation claim from being fired or demoted. However, if you are habitually or willfully late or absent from work, drinking while at work, or violate specific company policy, the employer has an affirmative defense for their actions (basically that they will suffer no legal consequences if they can prove they fired you for these reasons).