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Workers’ Compensation in SC: Overview for Greenville Employees

The Carolina Law Group > Blog  > Workers’ Compensation in SC: Overview for Greenville Employees

Workers’ Compensation in SC: Overview for Greenville Employees

Monty Desai | Attorney, Greenville, SC

Monty Desai | Partner & Attorney

Most workers in Greenville, SC and across South Carolina are covered under the state’s workers’ compensation program. If you’re a worker in South Carolina, you should know what it is and how it works.

Below you’ll find an overview of key points of workers’ comp in South Carolina, along with links to other articles on our blog to learn more.

Workers’ Comp Provides Financial Compensation to Injured and Ill Workers

Workers’ compensation provides benefits to covered workers who are injured on the job or develop an illness due to working conditions. The system ensures that workers get the financial help they need to recover while avoiding long, expensive, and difficult legal battles between employers and employees.

Workers’ comp also pays death benefits to dependents of a covered worker who dies on the job in South Carolina.

Workers’ Comp is a No-Fault System

Workers’ comp provides benefits to covered workers regardless of fault. This means that workers are entitled to receive benefits even if the injury was the result of their own actions (with exceptions; see below).

Most (But Not All) South Carolina Workers Are Covered

South Carolina law determines which workers must be covered under workers’ comp. Workers who are 1099 contractors rather than W-2 employees, who work in certain industries, and who work in very small companies generally are not covered by workers’ comp and are not eligible for its benefits.

Read more: Is My Injury Covered by Workers’ Comp?

Most (But Not All) Injuries Are Covered

In general, all injuries that occur in the course of work are covered under workers’ comp. There are some exceptions, as detailed in South Carolina Code Section 42-9-60. Injures that are the result of an employee’s intoxication or willful intention to injure or kill are not covered.

Read more: What is the Most Common Type of Workplace Injury?

Read more: Can I Get Workers’ Compensation for Back Pain?

Occupational Diseases Are Covered Under Workers’ Comp

Occupational diseases, such as asbestosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or muscle sprain, are covered under workers’ comp in South Carolina. However, getting benefits for an illness rather than an injury is typically more challenging, as the worker must show that the illness or disease is a direct result of working conditions.

Read more: How to Get Workers’ Compensation for an Occupational Disease in South Carolina

Read more: What is the Most Common Type of Occupational Disease?

Workers’ Comp is Considered an Exclusive Remedy

As an exclusive remedy, workers’ comp is generally the only means through which an injured or ill worker can get compensation. This means that except in rare circumstances, an injured or ill worker is barred from bringing claims against their employer or other parties.

Read more: Can I Sue My Employer for My Workplace Accident?

Read more: What Are Workplace Third-Party Liability Claims?

Workers’ Comp Benefits Are Limited to Economic Damages

Workers’ comp in South Carolina provides compensation for lost wages, permanent disability, and medical benefits to cover medical expenses for injured and ill workers. It also pays burial expenses, lost income benefits, and medical benefits to survivors of workers who have died on the job. These are all types of economic damages.

Workers’ comp does not pay noneconomic damages (such as pain and suffering) or punitive damages.

Read more: What’s Included In Your Workers’ Comp Benefits?

Compensation Rates are Determined by South Carolina Law

The amount of compensation available is limited and determined by law. Some amounts, such as the rate paid for lost wages, increase every year.

Read more: Calculating Workers’ Compensation Benefits: What You’re Entitled To

Read more: How Much Money Am I Supposed to Get When I’m Out of Work?

Workers Must Report Within 90 Days, and Claims Must Be Made Within Two Years

In South Carolina, workers injured on the job must report their injury to their employer within 90 days of the incident. Workers who have developed an occupational disease must report their illness to their employer within 90 days of becoming aware that the illness is work-related.

Additionally, the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims in South Carolina is two years. That means that claims must generally be brought within two years of the date of the injury or two years from the date of diagnosis of an occupational disease, as stated in SC Code Section 42-15-40.

Read more: How Long Do You Have to Report a Workplace Injury?

Employers, Not Workers, File a Claim with the Commission

Injured or ill workers are not responsible for filing a claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, the body that oversees workers’ comp. Workers are only responsible for reporting their injury or illness in a timely manner to their employer, and the employer is responsible for filing the claim with the SCWCC.

Read more: How to File for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in South Carolina

Workers’ Comp Claims are Sometimes Wrongfully Denied

For various reasons, a legitimate workers’ comp claim may be denied, or an injured or ill worker may not receive the benefits they were expecting. When this happens, there are remedies available. This is also a good time to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney.

Read more: Possible Reasons Why Your SC Workers’ Compensation Claim Was Denied

Read more: What to do When Your South Carolina Workers’ Comp Claim is Denied

You Have Rights

As you can see from the above, much of what happens after you become ill or are injured on the job are out of your control. You generally do not file a claim with the SCWCC, you cannot bring a claim against another party (with rare exceptions), you have no say in the amount of benefits you receive, and you cannot even use your own doctor.

But you do have rights, and it’s important that you know what they are. You have a right to file a claim on your own behalf if your employer fails to file it, you have a right to challenge the doctor’s determinations, and you have a right to appeal the commission’s decision if you disagree with it.

Read more: Do You Know Your Rights in a Workers’ Comp Case?

A Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help

Workers are not required to have the help of an attorney when seeking workers’ comp benefits. In many straightforward situations, an attorney is not necessary and does not add value.

However, there are many situations where getting the full amount of benefits is challenging, and working with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer is a smart choice.

Read more: Can I Handle My Own Workers’ Compensation Case in South Carolina?

Read more: Questions to Ask Your Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Read more: How to Find a Good Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Get Legal Help and Advice with Workers’ Compensation at The Carolina Law Group

We hope this blog has helped you better understand workers’ compensation in South Carolina. If you still have questions or you need help with a denied claim or underpaid benefits, call us today at The Carolina Law Group. Our workers’ comp lawyers have helped injured and ill South Carolina workers like you get the compensation they deserve. Work-related injuries and illnesses can be life-changing; make sure you’re getting the full benefits you’re entitled to under the law so you can recover and get your life back. Call us at one of the numbers below to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.

The Carolina Law Group has four offices in South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.312.4444) & West Columbia (principal office; call 803.881.1110).

Call us at one of our four offices or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys. Our business hours are Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5:30pm & Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm. Weekend and evening hours by appointment only. Our Greenville, SC law firm offers Spanish, Hindi, and Gujarati language translation services for your convenience.


Monty D. Desai came to the United States on Christmas Eve, 1988. After high school he joined the service in order to earn money for college. Monty would go on to earn a letter of commendation as a Navy Corpsman for the Marine Corps. After his service, Monty completed his undergraduate studies at the University of South Carolina. From there, Monty went on to attend Thomas M. Cooley Law School on full scholarship, where he earned his Juris Doctorate. Following graduation from law school, Monty served as prosecutor with Greenville County Solicitor’s Office, and also worked as a a adjunct professor in the Criminal Justice Division at Greenville Technical College. In 2015 Monty was recognized by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys as ranked among the Top 10 Under 40 for excellence in the field of personal injury.

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