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An Overview of Workers' Compensation Laws,
Benefits, and Procedures

A Quick Reference: On-the-Job Injuries
What is Workers' Compensation?
What do I do if I'm injured on the job?
How do I get medical treatment for my injury?
How is Workers' Compensation paid?
What are hearings and conferences?
Workers' Compensation Forms
Workers’ Compensation Designated Medical Facilities (PDF)

How is Workers' Compensation paid?
Before benefits can be received, the State Accident Fund must determine that an injury is job related and accept liability. There are four types of compensation that may be applicable after the Accident Fund accepts liability. There are also special guidelines for working with light or restricted duties and for first payment of benefits.

Lost Wages | Approved Medical Expenses | Death Benefits
Permanent Impairment or Disfigurement

Lost Wages
While recovering from your injury, you are entitled to weekly compensation at the rate of 66 and 2/3rds percent of your average weekly wage, but not more than the average weekly wage in South Carolina for the preceding fiscal year. How long payments continue depends on the injury and how long you are unable to work as a result of it.

Payment is based on a seven-day workweek, regardless of the number of days a week you work. This means your daily payment is one-seventh of your weekly payment.

There is a waiting period before benefits can be paid. The waiting period is the first seven days after the accident. You do not receive compensation for these seven days if you are disabled for 14 days or less. If you are disabled for more than 14 days, you will receive compensation beginning with the first day missed.

You are required by law to make a written choice using the Benefits Election section at the bottom of the Employee Injury Report (Form HR81-B) to designate whether you wish to use your leave time (sick and annual leave) or receive Workers' Compensation for time lost from work due to a work related injury. Once you elect to use leave or Workers' Compensation and begin receiving payment, you cannot change your decision.

Make sure you fully understand your options under this requirement before making a decision.

Approved Medical Expenses
Approved medical expenses are covered at 100 percent. This includes hospital and doctors charges, medicines, therapy, prosthetic devices, and travel expenses for obtaining medical attention more than five miles from home. Medical bills should be forwarded to the USC Benefits Office, 1600 Hampton Street, Columbia, S.C. 29208. Telephone: 803-777-6650.

Permanent Impairment or Disfigurement
After you have healed as much as possible from your injury, your doctor will estimate whether you have any permanent impairment or disfigurement. If you have a permanent impairment, you may be entitled to additional compensation. Different amounts of compensation are due for the loss of, or loss of use of various parts of the body.

Death Benefits
If you should die due to a work related injury, your family may be entitled to Workers' Compensation benefits.

Working with Light or Restricted Duties
If the doctor says you may return to work, but only with light or restricted duties, your department will determine whether suitable light duty is available.

If you refuse to accept suitable light duty, you may be placed on unauthorized leave without pay, and may forfeit your right to Workers' Compensation benefits. If light duty is unavailable, you will be required to remain off the job until your doctor releases you for full duty.

First Payment
If disability lasts longer than seven days, payments will come directly from the State Accident Fund, provided it has accepted your claim. To receive compensation, you are required to sign an Agreement as to Compensation. If no such agreement is made within 14 days after your injury, you should notify the Workers' Compensation Commission in writing.

After you sign the Agreement as to Compensation, payments will be made directly to you. Payments should continue until the doctor approves your return to work. Within 15 days after you return to work, the State Accident Fund will send you a Receipt for Compensation, Form 17 to sign.

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