How Workers' Compensation Settlement Amounts Are Determined
In addition to medical benefits and transportation costs to and from doctor’s appointments, injured workers are also entitled to compensation for the wages they missed as the result of their injuries. Understanding how workers’ compensation settlement amounts are determined is important to help ensure your family’s financial security, both now and in the future.
Workers’ Compensation Settlement Amounts
Workers’ compensation is a federally mandated program, administered in the state through the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC). In addition to medical benefits and survivor benefits in the event of a job-related fatality, the WCC provides the following types of benefits to injured employers who are unable to return to work and those whose injuries prevent them from performing certain tasks at their jobs.
Lost Wages Amounts
Injured workers are eligible for compensation for lost wages for work-related injuries that prevent them from working for a period of more than seven days. The workers’ compensation amount they are entitled to receive is at a set rate of two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage, not to exceed a maximum rate of $806.92 for injuries sustained after January 1, 2017. This amount is an increase from the maximum rate of $784.03 for injuries sustained in 2016.
Total Disability Amounts
If an employee is unable to work for a period of 14 days or more as the result of an on-the-job injury, they are then entitled to either temporary or permanent disability benefits. While the weekly compensation rate is the same, benefits are payable from the date of the injury without the seven days waiting period. Benefits are available for a total of 500 weeks after the accident. Total disability may involve the loss of vision, hearing, or use of a particular body part, such as the arms, hands, or legs. Total disability may also involve injuries resulting in paralysis or permanent brain damage.
Partial Disability Amounts
Workers’ compensation settlements for partial disabilities are regulated under Section 42-9-20 of the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act and are provided for workers suffering injuries that result in partial disabilities or disfigurement but do not prevent them from returning to work. They are calculated at the same weekly percentage rate but based on the average weekly earnings of the injured worker both before and after the accident. The amount of time the worker may be entitled to collect these benefits depends on the injury, ranging from 35 weeks to a period of 12 years or more.
Get Help From a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm right away. Our South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys provide the professional legal representation you need. We can advise you on how to get the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to.