South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers Comp 
South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Insurance

From Columbia to Charleston, South Carolina is a historic, vibrant state full of businesses large and small. 

Protecting those businesses and SC workers in general is a top priority, which is why workers’ comp—which covers the cost of medical treatment, lost wages, and more for employees injured on the job—is required for most employers in the state. 

Keep reading to learn about the South Carolina workers’ compensation laws and how you can get the best coverage for your employees.

Is Workers’ Comp Required in South Carolina?

According to the South Carolina code of law, workers’ comp is required for all businesses with four or more employees, whether they’re full-time or part-time. 

There are some types of businesses and workers who don’t need to have coverage, though. 

These include:

  • Partners
  • Sole proprietors
  • Independent contractors
  • Members of a limited liability company (LLC)
  • Casual employees who only work when needed and don’t keep regular hours
  • Farm and agricultural workers
  • Railway workers
  • Real estate agents
  • Federal employees
  • Subcontractors who have their own coverage
  • Businesses whose payroll for the previous year equals less than $3,000

How Does Workers’ Comp Work in South Carolina?

Workers’ comp gives your employees reimbursement for on-the-job injuries and work-related illnesses. Here are a few examples of what it might cover:

  • Injuries: A construction worker strains his back and has to receive chiropractic treatment–comp will cover the cost of those visits. 
  • Accidents: A restaurant employee slips due to a spill in the kitchen and has to go in for knee surgery. Comp will cover the cost of surgery, crutches, and pain meds.
  • Illnesses: A worker in a manufacturing plant is exposed to harmful chemicals and becomes ill. Comp will cover their medical bills and missed wages. 
  • Repetitive stress: A receptionist develops carpal tunnel from years of typing. Comp will pay for physical therapy and medication.

To file a workers’ comp claim, an employee must notify their employer within 90 days of the date of injury (or within 90 days from when they first experienced symptoms), then file a claim through the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission within two years from the date of injury. 

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South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Benefits

In South Carolina, injured employees are entitled to benefits that can help them get back on their feet after a workplace accident, and support them as they heal. 

In addition to medical expenses, insurance may pay injured workers benefits for things like:

  • Lost wages: As much as 66% of the employee’s average weekly wage up to the state’s max, paid after 7 missed days of work. 
  • Disability benefits: Calculated based on the extent of the worker’s injuries, as determined by their doctor.
  • Death benefits: For dependents, and as much as 66% of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage up to the state’s max, paid for up to 500 weeks, plus up to $2,500 in funeral expenses, paid to the employee’s dependents

How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cost?

The cost of workers’ comp depends on various factors, such as:

  • How many employees you have and how much you pay them
  • Where your business is located
  • Which industry you’re in
  • How much risk is involved in your employees’ work
  • Whether or not you have a claims history

Workers’ comp pricing uses class codes, assigned based on the work your employees do and the level of risk involved. Your insurance company usually determines how much coverage will cost you.

Sometimes, your employees may be performing different work on different days, and so your class codes will be different from day to day. But because workers’ comp premiums are typically paid upfront based on your estimated payroll for the year, your insurance company may not always price correctly.

At Hourly, we use pay-as-you-go pricing that comes from your actual payroll figures, and we keep everything as accurate as possible so you won’t have to worry about audit fees or cash flow problems. Talk to your insurance agent today to see how you can save with Hourly.

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FAQs about South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Insurance

How much does workers’ comp pay in South Carolina?

The maximum amount an employee can earn on workers’ comp in South Carolina is $1,035.78 per week in 2023, as set by the state. This number typically goes up every year.

While compensation rates vary depending on how severe an employee’s injuries are, most workers can expect to receive two-thirds or 66% of their average weekly wage (based on the four quarters they worked before their injury) up to the state max.

If a worker has to take a different job due to their injury, they may be faced with a lower salary than they had before the accident. 

In that case, the state would subtract the worker’s current (lower) weekly wage from their previous (higher) wage, and award them two-thirds or 66% of the final number, which the worker would receive in addition to their current wages.

What is the workers’ comp limit in South Carolina?

For 2023, the workers’ comp limit in South Carolina is $1035.78. This is the maximum amount a worker can receive in weekly compensation, as determined by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.

How long does it take to get workers’ comp in South Carolina?

An employee can receive money for lost wages after missing seven days of work, per their doctor’s orders, and will receive those benefits on the eighth calendar day. 

On the other hand, if a doctor specifies that an employee must miss at least 14 days of work, they will be able to receive benefits on the first day of missed work.

Who is eligible for workers’ comp in South Carolina?

Most employees who sustain a work-related injury or illness are eligible for workers’ comp, but there are a few exceptions for workers who are:

  • Injured in a car accident on their way to or from work
  • Engaging in horseplay at work and injured as a result
  • Intoxicated or intentionally injuring themselves
  • Violating company policy or engaging in illegal activities
  • Injured after being fired or resigning from a job 

What is the workers’ compensation claim limit in South Carolina?

Employees in South Carolina have 90 days to report an injury or illness to their employer, and two years from the date of injury to file a claim in order to receive benefits. 

Or, if they’re filing for an occupational disease caused by work conditions, they have two years from when they first experienced symptoms. 

You can find more information about South Carolina workers’ compensation claims from the Workers’ Compensation Commission.

The Best Workers’ Comp Option for South Carolina's Small Businesses

Hourly makes workers’ compensation coverage easy and affordable for small businesses like yours. 

We calculate your payroll figures in real-time and charge as you go, so you won’t have to worry about getting hit with hefty audit fees. 

Talk to your insurance carrier about switching to Hourly today.

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