Your work is your livelihood. It is how you pay for your home, cover bills, and provide the kind of life for your family that they deserve. So, what happens if you are injured on any type of job and are unable to work?
Suffering a workplace accident or injury can be a confusing time filled with pain and anxiety as you struggle to recover your health and maintain your household. It can also be stressful trying to determine what you are entitled to and how you will get paid.
The laws surrounding how workers’ compensation is determined and distributed in South Carolina may seem complicated when your priority should be focusing on your recovery. Let the attorneys at the Jebaily Law Firm deal with the legal matters while you focus on putting your life back together.
Contact us now for a free consultation about your legal rights and options when it comes to workers’ compensation total and permanent disability benefits.
What Is Permanent and Total Disability in Workers’ Compensation?
In South Carolina, The Workers’ Compensation Act says that if an employee has an accident in the workplace that results in an injury, that person is entitled to recover medical expenses regardless of who was to blame. They may also be entitled to partial wage replacement for time lost.
Permanent and total disability is defined as a condition where a person’s injuries from an accident mean they are no longer considered able to work. The nature of what is regarded as a permanent and total disability may also depend on the type of employment that a person has.
How Much Are Permanent Disability Benefits in South Carolina?
A common question people have related to permanent disability benefits in South Carolina is how much they can expect to draw. In South Carolina, the law assigns a maximum benefit value to different types of body parts affected by an accident. A value would be multiplied by the percentage of disability assigned by the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
South Carolina also provides a maximum benefit payment. Depending on the severity of the injury, there is a set maximum number of weeks that you are allowed to receive payment benefits.
For example, under South Carolina law if a victim suffers the loss of their first finger, they are entitled to a percentage of the average weekly wages for 40 weeks. The loss of a foot means a victim could see a percentage of wages for 140 weeks. There is a complete compensation schedule available on South Carolina’s Legislature page that breaks down the percentage of pay and duration of payment for all types of injuries.
If a victim suffers an injury that results in them becoming a paraplegic, quadriplegic, or if they suffer a severe brain injury or trauma, there is no maximum payment period. Victims of accidents resulting in these types of serious trauma may receive weekly compensation for life.
Two Injury Rule in South Carolina
There is another piece of South Carolina law that can impact victims and their Workers’ Compensation benefits. It’s called the two-injury rule.
The two-injury rule is an exception to the assigned value law for certain body parts. This rule states that an employee may also qualify for total disability benefits if the accident caused injury to more than one body part.
Requirements for Total and Permanent Disability in South Carolina
Before being able to draw workers’ compensation benefits for an injury suffered on the job, a determination must be made as to whether all the requirements for eligibility have been met. Your employer must have workers’ compensation insurance, and you must be considered an eligible employee.
Your injury has to be related to the job, and you need to have filed a workers’ compensation claim. In South Carolina, it is also important to remember that you must see a physician chosen by your employer or its insurance company to receive benefits. The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission does not permit you to choose your own doctor if you are making a workers’ compensation claim.
Total & Permanent Disability vs Partial & Temporary Disability
Permanent disability versus partial or temporary disability is South Carolina’s way of saying they understand that injuries heal at different rates. If it has been determined that an individual has suffered a total and permanent disability, they tend to get payments for a longer amount of time. That is because it is assumed that it will take a longer amount of time to recover from the injury.
How Is a Disability Determined?
Your doctor will be determine the extent of your disability and how it may impact your return to work. Your treating physician is responsible for assigning you a percentage of physical impairment after evaluating your injury and level of recovery. This impairment rating is assigned after a doctor has decided that you have reached your maximum medical improvement.
The impairment rating made by your treating doctor is an important piece in determining disability, but it is not the only factor. Other factors include the type of work you do, training, work experience, age, and level of education.
Contact Jebaily Law Firm for Help with Your South Carolina Total and Permanent Disability Claim
Have you been injured in a workplace accident? Have you taken the time to review the laws surrounding South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation benefits? Your employer has Workers’ Compensation insurers and other resources working with them to help navigate workers’ claims. Can you say the same?
At Jebaily Law Firm, we have more than four decades of experience when it comes to helping people seek the workers’ compensation benefits they’re entitled to. You don’t need to go it alone. We are passionate about fighting for people like you and protecting your rights.
If you’ve been hurt in a workplace accident contact our offices now for a free consultation. Our team of lawyers can help you understand your rights under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation rules. If you’ve been injured at work you let us help you pursue the benefits you deserve.