If you have been injured while on the job and are unable to return to work, you may be entitled to weekly benefits to compensate you while you are out of work as well as payment for the medical treatment you receive. In addition, if you have been released by your treating physician, you may be entitled to permanent disability benefits which compensate you for permanent impairment or for the loss of earning capacity you may have sustained. To find out whether you may be entitled to such benefits and/or to help you obtain your benefits, you may need the services of a skilled attorney who understands and is able to navigate South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation system.

If you are having difficulty getting your claim approved and/or your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, you may still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In order to be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under South Carolina Law, you must be able to show that you sustained an injury “arising out of and in the course of your employment.” While this definition may sound simple enough, the process can be much more complicated; in many cases, the insurance company responsible for paying your benefits may try to deny your claim even when the facts and circumstances show that you were injured while on the job.

Below are some common questions regarding workers’ compensation in South Carolina:

I was injured on the job and my claim was approved; however, the insurance company will no longer pay for my medical treatment. What should I do?

If you were injured on the job and the insurance company has stopped paying for your medical treatment, then the insurance company may be claiming that you have reached what is called “maximum medical improvement.” Under South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law, maximum medical improvement is the point at which an injured worker has reached such a plateau that, in their physician’s opinion, no further medical care or treatment will lessen the degree of impairment. However, even if you have reached maximum medical improvement, you may still be entitled to medical care or treatment which would lessen the period of your disability. In that case, your employer may still be required to provide you with treatment even after you have reached maximum medical improvement.

If this all sounds a bit complicated, it can be. Many times, the insurance company will try to cut your treatment short. Whether they do so as a result of their own economic reality (i.e. you are costing the insurance company “too much money”) or because the insurance company believes you are no longer in need of treatment, the result of their actions for you is the same: you are unable to obtain medical treatment through the insurance carrier.

Whether you are determined to have reached maximum medical improvement or to have not reached such a plateau, The Miller Law Firm, P.A., may be able to help. It is also important to note that if you are currently receiving temporary total disability benefits and are determined to be at maximum medical improvement, then this may signal the end of your weekly benefits.

I have been injured on the job and my treating physician has recommended surgery. Will I be compensated for my time out of work?

If you have been injured on the job and are unable to return to work after a period of seven (7) days, then you are entitled to weekly temporary total disability benefits. One of the most common fears of injured workers is that they will not receive their weekly benefits after their authorized treating physician writes them go out of work. Unfortunately, insurance companies can sometimes be slow to approve benefits. Meanwhile, injured workers can be stuck without compensation and unable to provide for their basic necessities while they are out of work.

I have been released by my treating physician at maximum medical improvement and have been given an impairment rating. What happens next?

Once you are released at “maximum medical improvement” by your treating physician you are entitled to permanent disability benefits if your work-related injury is determined to result in permanent impairment. However, in many instances, the treating physician’s impairment rating may not take into account all of your work-related injuries. In many cases, it may be help to get what is called an Independent Medical Evaluation to help the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission determine the extent of your permanent impairment resulting from your work injury. These impairment ratings may in turn be used by the hearing Commissioner assigned to your case to help him or her determine the extent of permanent disability caused by your work-related injury.

At The Miller Law Firm, P.A., we can help you assess whether you are in need of any further evaluation before taking your case before the Commission. At this point, you may also have been made an offer of settlement by the insurance company and we can assist you in evaluating this offer. When you come to the Miller Law Firm, P.A., we will the time and care to evaluate the circumstances surrounding your work injury to determine whether we may be able to assist you in obtaining benefits moving forward. We can help you make this determination by providing you with an honest and straight forward assessment of your claim. Our lawyers are capable of dealing with the following workers comp matters:

Call The Miller Law Firm, P.A. today at (864) 527-0413 for a free 30-minute consultation.