Q. What is the difference between a permanent impairment rating and the concept
A. An impairment rating is a professional opinion offered by your authorized
treating physician based on medical evidence and accepted standards. The concept of disability takes
that rating one step further – how does the degree of impairment impact on your ability to perform
your job? This determination (made by the SC Workers' Compensation Commission) takes into account
your level of education, previous job history, and other personal factors that may apply to your unique
Q. If I do not fully recover from my injury, can I receive further benefits
although I did return-to-work?
A. Yes, if your authorized treating physician reports that you have a
percentage of permanent physical impairment as a result of your injury, you may receive compensation
for the resulting disability although you have returned to full-time work.
Q. How and when will I receive benefits for my permanent physical impairment
and resulting disability?
A. When your authorized treating physician releases you from his/her care
and you have a percentage of physical impairment, SAF will request an Informal Conference with the SC
Workers' Compensation Commission (WCC) to determine if you are eligible for additional benefits because
of permanent disability. You will be notified by mail of the date, time and location. The Informal
Conference is an opportunity for you and a SAF representative to discuss your case with a WCC official
to ensure that any settlement of your claim is fair and proper.
Q. How are my permanent disability benefits determined?
A. SC law assigns a maximum value to different body
parts. The maximum value would then be multiplied by the percentage (%) of
disability assigned by the Workers' Compensation Commission. For example, if you
suffered an injury to your left arm which resulted in an award of 10%
disability, the settlement would be: 220 wks. (arm) X 10% disability = 22 wks.
of compensation. The 22 weeks would then be multiplied by your compensation rate
to determine the actual dollar value of your settlement.
Q. If my injury leaves a serious and permanent disfigurement such as an unsightly
scar, am I entitled to additional benefits?
A. Yes, if the disfigurement substantially detracts from your appearance and
is normally exposed during the course of employment, such as a scar on your face. You cannot receive
compensation for disfigurement and disability to the same body part except in cases of serious burns or
keloid scars. Any award for disfigurement must be approved by the WCC.
Q. What benefits am I entitled to in the event of my total and permanent
disability resulting from my injury?
A. SC law provides a maximum benefit payment equal to 500 weeks (approximately
9 1/2 years) based on your compensation rate, subject to limits set by law. The value of any previous
weekly payments for TT or TP benefits will be deducted from the 500 week payment. Paraplegics,
quadriplegics and employees who suffer physical brain damage will receive weekly compensation benefits