What Are the Workers’ Compensation Eligibility Requirements in SC?
If you were injured on the job, or became ill due to workplace events or conditions, you could be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits to help make ends meet until you recover enough to return to work.
Workers’ Compensation payments are paid out weekly, and are designed to help cover costs of medical bills and recovery from your illness or on-the-job injury, plus some lost wages.
If you meet Workers’ Compensation eligibility requirements, you may receive compensation regardless of who was at fault for the injury.
In most cases, you’ll need to meet four basic Workers’ Compensation eligibility requirements in order to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits:
- You must be an employee
- Your employee must carry Workers’ Compensation insurance
- You must have an on-the-job injury or illness
- You must meet South Carolina’s deadline for reporting your work-related injury and filing a Workers’ Compensation claim.
Certain categories of employees, including domestic workers, agricultural and farm workers, casual or seasonal employees, and workers who have been placed with an employer by temp agencies, are subject to special secondary rules.
Bluestein Attorneys can help you understand Workers’ Compensation eligibility requirements.
Are All Employers Required to Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage?
While the vast majority of employers will be required to have Workers’ Compensation cover, whether or not it is a legal requirement for them to do so depends on the number of individuals employed by the company, what type of business it is, and what kind of work is being done by the employees.
It’s not uncommon for an employer to maintain Workers’ Comp insurance even when they aren’t legally required to do so. If you’re unsure as to whether or not your employer has Workers’ Compensation insurance, it’s important to ask and find out for certain.
Isn’t Every South Carolina Worker Considered an Employee?
Not all workers are considered employees when it comes to Workers’ Compensation eligibility requirements in SC. Independent contractors, such as freelancers or consultants, are generally not entitled to Workers’ Comp benefits.
Misclassification of employees as independent contractors isn’t uncommon, though, so it’s worth checking with a legal representative if you feel that you have been misclassified and should be entitled to Workers’ Comp as an employee.
How Do I Know If My Injury is Work-Related?
For many employees, driving off their workplace property to attend to work-related duties is a common aspect of their job. Others may work for one company but be injured in a third-party location.
Generally, your injury can be considered work-related if you were doing something for the benefit of your employer and became injured or ill as a result. For example; if you were driving an important contract from your employer’s office to a client’s office and were involved in a collision between vehicles, your injuries resulting from the car crash would be considered work-related.
Not all situations are so clear-cut, so scheduling a consultation with a legal representative can help you to clear up any lingering questions about whether or not your situation falls under a work-related injury.
What Are the Deadlines for Filing Workers’ Compensation?
South Carolina law stipulates that an employee injured on the job or who becomes ill as a result of their job has 90 days from the onset of injury or illness to notify their employer. We recommend beginning the process of filing for Workers’ Compensation as soon after your injury or illness as you are physically able to do so, as it can help to expedite the process.
There are some exceptions to this 90-day rule: If you have evidence your employer had knowledge of the event that caused the injury prior to your official report, or if you were prevented in some way from telling your employer due to a mental or physical incapacity, or if you were prevented from informing your employer due to a third party’s deceit or fraud.
Some injuries or illnesses only truly become apparent over time, and special rules have been drafted to address those concerns. For instance, employees who are diagnosed with tendonitis, carpal tunnel, or other repetitive motion injuries that develop over time are legally required to tell their employer within 90 days of the time they found out their condition is eligible for compensation.
You do have two years to filing your official paperwork for Workers’ Compensation, although we recommend doing so immediately following the injury or diagnosis of an injury. There is always a possibility that an employer may deny your claim, or that you will receive a settlement offer that you don’t feel covers all the costs you require after your work-related injury.
In these situations, a Workers’ Compensation attorney may be able to help you go after the benefits you deserve.
Have You Been Injured on the Job in South Carolina?
Bluestein Attorneys has a Workers’ Compensation team dedicated to representing the rights of injured workers in South Carolina, and we’ll stand beside you and help you fight for the Workers’ Compensation benefits you may be entitled to.
To request your FREE Workers’ Compensation consultation give us a call at (803) 779-7599 or just fill out the form.