Navigating the Workers’ Compensation Process in South Carolina: A Comprehensive Guide

Suffering an injury at work can be a daunting experience, but understanding the workers’ compensation process in South Carolina can help alleviate some of the stress. Here’s a comprehensive guide to navigating the workers’ compensation system in the Palmetto State:

  1. Report the Injury: The first step in the workers’ compensation process is to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. South Carolina law requires injured workers to notify their employer within 90 days of the accident or the discovery of a work-related illness. Failure to report the injury promptly could jeopardize your ability to receive benefits.
  2. Seek Medical Treatment: After reporting your injury, seek medical treatment from an approved healthcare provider authorized by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Your employer or their insurance carrier will typically provide you with a list of approved healthcare providers. Be sure to follow all medical instructions and attend all appointments to document your injuries properly.
  3. File a Claim: If your injury requires medical treatment beyond first aid or results in time away from work, you may need to file a workers’ compensation claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC). Your employer or their insurance carrier should provide you with the necessary forms to file a claim. You must file your claim within two years from the date of the injury or when you discovered the injury was work-related.
  4. Investigation and Evaluation: Once your claim is filed, the insurance carrier will conduct an investigation to determine the validity of your claim. This may involve reviewing medical records, obtaining statements from witnesses, and assessing the extent of your injuries. The insurance carrier will then evaluate your claim and decide whether to accept or deny it.
  5. Dispute Resolution: If your claim is denied or if you disagree with the insurance carrier’s decision regarding your benefits, you have the right to dispute the decision through the SCWCC. This may involve attending a mediation conference or a hearing before a workers’ compensation commissioner, where both parties present evidence and arguments to resolve the dispute.
  6. Receiving Benefits: If your claim is accepted, you may be entitled to various benefits under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws. These benefits may include medical treatment, temporary total disability benefits (TTD) if you are unable to work while recovering, permanent partial disability benefits (PPD) if you suffer a permanent impairment, and vocational rehabilitation services if you are unable to return to your previous job due to your injury.
  7. Return to Work: Once you have recovered from your injury, your healthcare provider will determine when it is safe for you to return to work. If you are unable to perform your previous job duties due to your injury, your employer may be required to provide you with suitable alternative employment or vocational rehabilitation services to help you transition back to work.


Navigating the workers’ compensation process in South Carolina can be complex, but understanding your rights and responsibilities can help ensure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to after a work-related injury. If you have any questions or concerns about your workers’ compensation claim, consider consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can provide guidance and advocate on your behalf.