Workers Compensation Laws in South Carolina

In South Carolina, some worker's compensation waivers are permitted, and employers with fewer than 4 employees are exempt from having to provide worker's compensation insurance coverage to employees. Employers with 4 or more domestic workers must provide worker's compensation insurance, unless that employer's total annual payroll in the previous calendar year was less than $3000. Agricultural workers also do not have to be covered by worker's compensation insurance.

For all other employers though, the insurance is mandatory. There is no state fund in South Carolina, but employers may insure through self-insurance, private insurance carriers or groups of employers.

South Carolina Worker's Compensation Benefits

Weekly benefits equal sixty-six and two-thirds percent of a worker's wage for all three classifications of disability: temporary total disability, permanent totally disability and permanent partial disability. The minimum weekly benefit is $75 dollars and the maximum payment is $661.29, for all three classifications as well. Temporary total disability benefits can be paid for up to 500 weeks.

Permanent total disability benefits can also be paid up to 500 weeks, or indefinitely if the worker is brain damaged, or became a paraplegic or quadriplegic as a result of job-related injuries. For non-scheduled injuries that result in permanent partial disability, weekly benefits last up to 340 weeks, with a maximum payout over those weeks to not exceed $224.839. The exception is an employee who has become a paraplegic, quadriplegic, or who has been brain damaged. These payments are indefinite.

Other Benefits

All medical expenses are covered in full for the duration of treatment. The employer is entitled to choose the care provider for the employee.

Physical rehabilitation is covered under the heading 'medical services,' and vocational benefits may be available. There may be compensation for occupational hearing loss, under certain circumstances.

Payments for attorney's fees are provided on a case by case basis.

Death and Disfigurement

If an injured worker is deemed to be disfigured due to job-related injuries resulting in serious and permanent disfigurement of the face, head neck, "or other area normally exposed during employment," then a benefit that's considered proper and equitable will be determined and paid for up to 50 weeks. Serious burns and keloid scars may entitle the worker to additional benefits.

The spouse and children of a worker are entitled to death benefits, including a burial allowance, which are based on a percentage of the deceased worker's wages.

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