While medical benefits are always available to an injured worker so long as an authorized treating doctor states it is necessary and related, there are 3 primary types of monetary recovery in South Carolina:
1) Permanent Partial Disability (“PPD”) – this type of recovery is available when there is only one injured body part, when the one injured body part is the back but it does not produce greater than 50% disability, or when the injury does not involve paraplegia/quadriplegia or physical brain injury (for which there are lifetime benefits). These injuries are limited based upon the values set forth in Sec. 42-9-30 and R. 67-1101.
2) Wage Loss – when a claimant has two or more body parts injured and those injuries preclude them from continuing to work their job permanently, they may be eligible for a wage loss recovery which is calculated by a formula that pays a percentage of the difference between what the injured worker was making in their old job versus what they are predicted to make in the future (usually by a vocational expert) over a given period of time.
3) Permanent and Total Disability (P&T) – this type of recovery is generally the largest available under workers compensation (not including paraplegia/quadriplegia or physical brain injuries). In order to be considered for a P&T recovery, a person must be unable to perform any job within the readily available job market because of two or more injured body parts, or when their back is greater than 50% disabled (there is a rebuttable presumption a person is P&T in this instance). This recovery has a maximum of 500 weeks of benefits, minus any weeks which may have been paid out by the week since the accident.
Values are additionally dependent on a claimant’s individual compensation rate, which is generally two-thirds of an employee’s average weekly wage (note – the average weekly wage can be calculated in different ways). This is subject to a maximum compensation rate year by year, which can be viewed here: Compensation Rates | Workers’ Compensation Commission (sc.gov).
Our workers compensation team can help you understand which type of recovery applies to your case to maximize your recovery. We have the experience and knowledge to then present your case in a way that offers a high chance to achieve the desired result in settlement or at a hearing.