As mentioned briefly above, it is your full responsibility to ensure that your workers’ compensation claim is filed. The following provides a step-by-step guide for filing for workers’ compensation benefits in South Carolina:
- Report your injury. The first thing that you need to do after you have suffered a workplace injury is to report the injury to your employer. You must report your injury to your employer within 90 days of the injury’s occurrence, although doing so as soon as possible is highly advised.
- Ensure that your employer reports the injury to their insurance carrier. The second thing that you need to do is make sure that your employer reports the injury to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Your employer has a legal obligation to file a First Report of Injury or Illness form. If your employer does not file this form, then you have the right to file for workers’ compensation insurance on your own.
- File the appropriate form with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. If your employer does not report your injury to their insurance company for whatever reason, then you have the right and the obligation to file for workers’ compensation on your own. To do so, you will file either a Form 50 or a Form 52 with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (the latter is a claim for death benefits). If you do not wish to have a hearing at this time, it is important that you check the box stipulating so.
- Attend a workers’ compensation hearing. If your employer denies your injuries, denies your benefits, if you are unhappy with the doctor that is assigned to your case by your insurance carrier, or if there are any other indications that your rights to workers’ compensation insurance are being violated, you can request a hearing with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. You will request a hearing by filing a Form 50. During your hearing, you will have an opportunity to present your case, and a commissioner will then make a determination about your case. It is highly advised that you seek legal counsel at this point. Your attorney can represent you during a hearing and provide you with important information about your rights.
- File an appeal. If you do not agree with a commissioner’s decision regarding your workers’ compensation benefits, you have the legal right to file an appeal of the decision. To do so, you will need to file a Form 30 – Request for Commission Review with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission within no more than 14 days’ time from the date that you receive the commissioner’s decision. If you wait more than 14 days, you may be unable to appeal the decision at all.
If you have any questions about the process for filing for workers’ compensation insurance, it is very important that you speak with a legal professional at Elrod Pope who possesses a thorough understanding of workers’ compensation laws.