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A recent National Public Radio (NPR) feature reported that workers’ compensation benefits vary from state to state, which results in overwhelmingly different financial circumstances for victims of at-the-workplace injuries. In fact, the story followed two workers who suffered amputation of an arm as a result of a work-related injury – identical injuries – that resulted in an award of $45,000 for one man and $740,000 for the other. Both were in their mid-to-late-twenties, and married with children of similar ages; the only difference in their cases was 75 miles of land.

According to the report, employers are paying the lowest workers’ compensation premium rates than any other time since the 1970s. The consequence is, according to an Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) report, that victims’ families and taxpayers are having to subsidize the majority of lost income and incurred medical expenses. South Carolina’s workers’ compensation rates are available on the state’s Workers’ Compensation Commission website.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a work-related injury, contact an experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney right away to handle your claim.

South Carolina Seeks Alternative

Earlier this year, a South Carolina legislator introduced a bill that would allow qualified employers in the state to offer their own injury benefit payment plan to workers. The legislation proposed to authorize employers to be exempt from obtaining workers’ compensation insurance and, instead, obtain certification from the state’s Department of Insurance to fund their own qualified plan. According to the Association for Responsible Alternatives to Workers’ Compensation (ARAWC), the organization that worked on the proposed legislation, the alternative would not replace workers’ compensation; rather, it would make the marketplace more competitive. South Carolina is not the first state to propose an alternative to workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, Texas and Oklahoma already have alternative programs in place.

Under the proposed law, an employer’s alternative plan must offer medical benefits that are comparable to the ones required under current state workers’ compensation law. This must include medical, hospital, surgical, dental and other treatment. Benefits must also include nursing services, surgical supplies, rehabilitation services, prosthetic devices and medicines. Beyond these medical benefits, coverage for total, partial and permanent disability as well as death are detailed in the legislation. The proposed bill also discusses requirements for victims of on-the-job injuries who are unable to perform their own tasks but can do alternative work. Benefits for loss of limbs, loss of use or disfigurement and death benefits are also included.

Help in South Carolina

An on-the-job injury can be frightening and life-changing. The physical, emotional and financial stress that comes with such an incident can make it difficult to know what steps to take next. The legal professionals at The Law Offices of Steven M Krause PA have represented numerous clients in workers’ compensation cases from the initial claim through trial. Call (864) 225-4000 to schedule your free, initial consultation.


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