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