South Carolina Workers’ Compensation

south carolina worker's compensation text overlaying image of greenville If you run a business and have employees, you’ll need to purchase South Carolina workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, this type of insurance is a requirement in most states, including South Carolina, with some exceptions. It helps pay your employees’ medical bills if they sustain an injury on the job. And limits your liability for workplace accidents, is a requirement in most states, including South Carolina, with some exceptions.

In South Carolina, business owners can expect to pay, on average, $1.71 for every $100 of covered payroll. That means, for example, a business with a total annual payroll of $100,000 will pay approximately $1,171 per year for workers’ compensation insurance. Or around $142 a month. This is only a rough estimate, since factors such as your location, the different rates for staffing types (laborers vs office workers), and your claims history can all have a significant impact on your rates.

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One of the biggest factors in determining your rates for workers’ compensation insurance is the likelihood of a workplace injury occurring at your business. To assist insurers in determining risk exposure, you can use a variety of workers’ compensation class codes. This is important because it costs more to insure certain employees. For example, office employees may have lower workers’ compensation costs than those who work outside of your office and face more risks.


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What’s Covered

If one of your employees is injured at work or becomes ill because of workplace conditions. Workers’ compensation in South Carolina can help pay for their medical bills. The weekly average wage of an employee is used to calculate workers’ compensation benefits. The type of claim determines the exact amount.

The most important thing that workers’ compensation does is offer coverage for your injured employee’s medical treatment. This would include doctor’s appointments, hospital stays, and surgical procedures. Following a return to work, an employee may need ongoing care. Such as follow-up appointments or extra surgeries; workers’ compensation will also cover these medical bills.

Additionally, if the incident causes permanent or temporary disability, the employee will receive compensation in the form of weekly or lump sum payments. If your employee suffers a temporary disability, their injury is preventing them from performing their regular job while they recover. They have a permanent disability if a doctor determines that they will not fully recover from their injury. 

These two classifications fall into two subcategories:

  1. Temporary total disability (TTD) – These payments will be made if your employee is unable to work at all during their recovery.
  2. Temporary partial disability (TPD) – TPD payments will be made if your employee is still able to work, but with certain restrictions, such as requiring lighter duties or fewer hours. Even if your company does not provide work that meets these requirements, the employee may still be eligible for these payments.
  3. Permanent total disability (PTD) – If the accident or illness leaves your employee unable to work at all, even after recovery, they will be eligible for PTD payments.
  4. Permanent partial disability (PPD) – If an employee has permanent impairments but is able to work with those impairments, they will be eligible for PPD.


South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits

In South Carolina, if an employee passes away as a result of a work-related injury or illness, surviving dependents may qualify for death benefits.

Death benefits include weekly compensation payments, as well as funds to cover funeral and burial costs. Survivors can generally receive two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage for 500 weeks from the date of the injury, plus burial expenses up to $2,500.

This basic formula has some exceptions. For example, if the deceased worker received workers’ compensation insurance benefits prior to death, the amount of benefits available to surviving dependents may be reduced.


South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Laws

Workers’ compensation insurance is required in South Carolina for businesses with four or more employees. This includes full-time and part-time employees, as well as family members who work for the business (unpaid or paid). This is also true for non-profit organizations.

Unless they have their own coverage, subcontractors must also be covered by a general contractor’s policy. In many cases, a general contractor will require subcontractors to carry their own workers’ compensation insurance, which will protect the general contractor from liability if someone gets injured on the job.

Sole proprietors, partners, independent contractors, and members of a limited liability company (LLC) are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for themselves, but they may do so if they wish.

It’s a good idea to purchase workers’ compensation insurance even if it’s not required. Your health insurance company might not fully cover work-related injuries, leaving you with large medical bills. In addition, health insurance does not cover lost wages, which workers’ comp often does.


How to Buy Workers’ Compensation Insurance

In South Carolina, you can buy a workers’ compensation insurance policy from a private insurance carrier in the state that offers workers’ compensation insurance. 

If your business is considered high-risk, you may be unable to obtain workers’ compensation insurance through the voluntary market. You can purchase a policy from the state fund. The South Carolina State Accident Fund is a competitive state fund run by the state of South Carolina and is the last-resort insurer for high-risk businesses.

If you meet certain criteria, you can also apply to self-insure. This means you will pay any workers’ compensation claims out-of-pocket as they arise, instead of paying a premium and submitting claims to an insurance company. Employers must file an application with the state’s Self-Insurance Division to be eligible for self-insurance.

If you need help finding a policy, Ez’s agents can help sort through all of your options, and find you the best workers’ comp insurance for your business.

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How to Get the Most Savings

The majority of the cost of workers’ compensation comes from factors beyond your control. However, there are still ways to save. Implementing a safety program is a great way to reduce workplace injuries and claims, which will lower your premiums. So regardless of your industry, it is important to have safety and standard operating procedures in place. Employees who have safety training are less vulnerable to injuries, lowering your workers’ compensation costs.

It is also a good idea to regularly review your claims history. Evaluating your claims history on a regular basis can help you identify and correct patterns. You might discover that certain aspects of your business operations are frequently causing claims. This allows you to adjust the operation to make it safer. You can save money by keeping an eye on potentially dangerous operations.

Correctly classifying your employees is one of the most effective ways to save money. When you apply for your workers’ compensation policy, you will classify each of your employees depending on their job’s risk. And this risk classification influences the cost of your workers’ compensation. For example, you might pay less to insure an office worker than you would a manual laborer. It’s also important to correctly classify your employees because you may receive a fine if you fail to do so.

Begin a free online application today to compare workers’ compensation insurance quotes for your small business from leading U.S. insurers. EZ’s agents specialize in insurance for a wide range of small businesses. Working with our agents can save you hundreds of dollars a year on coverage.


South Carolina Workers’ Compensation FAQs

  • Are you required to have workers’ compensation insurance in South Carolina?

Yes, in South Carolina, the majority of employers are required to have workers’ compensation. If an employee is injured on the job and you do not have the required workers’ compensation insurance, the state may seize your business’s assets to pay for the claim.

  • How do workers’ compensation settlements work in South Carolina?

Workers’ compensation settlements in South Carolina are divided into two types: 

    • Agreement and final release – Also known as a “clincher” agreement, this type of settlement releases you and your insurer from any further liability. In this case, benefits will usually be paid to your employee in one lump sum, but they could also be paid in installments. In the case of installments, the employee would receive a guaranteed monthly payout for a set period of time, similar to an annuity. This type of settlement is a legally binding agreement that must be approved by the commissioner, and there can be no further claims if the employee’s condition worsens or requires additional treatment.
    • Form 16A settlement -This settlement agreement is for a permanently disabled worker. It pays a weekly benefit amount determined by the average weekly wage prior to the injury. A Form 16A settlement, unlike a clincher agreement, allows the worker to request additional compensation within a year of their last benefit payment if the injury worsens. And it also covers specific continuing medical expenses.
  • What is the statute of limitations in South Carolina?

Employees who have been injured on the job must file a workers’ compensation claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC). They must do this within two years of their injury. It is the employee’s responsibility to report an injury to you as soon as possible, but no later than 90 days after the injury.

If the employee fails to notify you or the WCC in a timely manner, they will lose their right to file a workers’ compensation claim.


 Why Use EZ

We do everything in our power to make shopping for workers’ compensation insurance as easy and stress-free as possible. And we give each of our customers our undivided attention. As soon as you fill out our form, you will receive instant, free quotes from your dedicated agent. Who will give you personalized service and will work to understand your needs. We want to ensure that you get the best coverage at the best price. Our services are completely free so check out your quotes today!

If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at 877-670-3538. You will speak to a local insurance agent who can answer all of your questions. And help you find the workers’ compensation policy that works best for your business.

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About The Author:
Cassandra Love

With over a decade of helpful content experience Cassandra has dedicated her career to making sure people have access to relevant, easy to understand, and valuable information. After realizing a huge knowledge gap Cassandra spent years researching and working with health insurance companies to create accessible guides and articles to walk anyone through every aspect of the insurance process.

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