South Carolina requires all businesses to have workers comp for employees, with only a few exceptions.

Workers compensation insurance typically pays medical bills and helps replace a portion of lost income for a worker who's hurt while performing a job related task. The types of injuries that can be covered by workers comp can include breathing problems, carpal tunnel and broken bones.

South Carolina workers compensation law specifies many details of who can be exempt from coverage, who must be covered and the limits of workers comp payments. Below are many of the specifics contained in the workers comp law in South Carolina. The South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission also has a page with helpful information for employers.

Who has to be covered by South Carolina workers compensation insurance?


Can any employees opt out of South Carolina workers compensation with a waiver?

Yes - corporate officers are covered unless coverage is rejected.


Is self-insurance for workers comp allowed in South Carolina?

Yes, for individual employers, groups of employers and political subdivisions. Political subdivisions in South Carolina are typically the state or a city, county, special district, school district or public agency.

By self-insuring, a business assumes responsibility for paying their own workers comp claims. A self-insured company typically hires a claims service company to handle claims administration and other services.


Are there exclusions for:

Small employers? Yes, for employers who employ fewer than four employees.

Agricultural employers? Yes.

Domestic employers? No.

Independent contractors? Yes.

Casual employees? Yes.

Volunteers? Yes.

Professional athletes? No.

South Carolina workers comp medical benefits


Is there a South Carolina workers comp fee schedule?

Yes.

Fee schedules define payments for surgery, radiology, hospital services, chiropractic care, ambulance service, prescription drugs and other medical services for an injured worker.


Are there limits on medical treatment?

None.


Who makes the initial choice of treating physician?

The employer.

Disability payments for workers compensation insurance in South Carolina

Workers comp typically pays an employee a portion of their lost income if they cannot work because of a job-related injury. State laws specify the limits on the disability payment length and amount, based on both permanent and temporary disability.


How are temporary total disability (TTD) payments calculated?

66 2/3% of the employee's pre-injury wage, subject to a minimum and maximum.

Weekly minimum: $75 if the employee's wages are more than $75; otherwise the rate is equal to wages.

Weekly maximum: $784.04

Maximum length of TDD benefits: For the duration of the temporary total disability.

How are permanent total disability (PTD) payments calculated?

66 2/3% of the employee's pre-injury wage, subject to a minimum and maximum.

Weekly minimum: $75

Weekly maximum: $752.16

Are there cost of living increases for PTD payments? No.

Maximum length of PTD benefits: 500 weeks.

How are permanent partial disability (PPD) payments calculated?

Weekly payment based on 50% of the average weekly wage, subject to a maximum.

Weekly minimum: N/A

Weekly maximum: Depends on scheduled body part.

Fatality benefits under South Carolina workers compensation law

Maximum burial benefit: $2,500

Dependency benefits, weekly minimum: $75 if the employee's wages are more than $75; otherwise the rate is equal to wages.

Dependency benefits, weekly maximum: $784.03

When do children's dependency benefits end? Children's benefits vest upon the parent's death. If a child is under 19 or disabled, once vested, child is entitled to benefits until the statutory limit is paid; if over 19 but a student, child can receive benefits until age 23.

Other injuries covered by South Carolina workers compensation

Mental stress with no physical injury? Yes.

Cumulative trauma (such as injuries caused by repeated exposure or repetitive motion)? Yes.

Occupational hearing loss? Yes.

Disfigurement? Yes.

Source: Workers Compensation Research Institute, May 2016 report