If you’ve been injured on the job and you are not getting a paycheck, “when do I get paid” may be the most important question that you have right now. How long does a workers’ compensation claim take to settle in SC?
Of course, the answer depends. It depends on the nature of your injuries and whether your employer or the insurance company believes they are obligated to pay. If they approve your worker’s compensation claim, payments may begin without excessive delay.
If they deny your workers’ compensation claim, you may be in for a series of hearings, appeals, and negotiations that could take months or even years to resolve.
Your Myrtle Beach workers’ compensation attorney on the Axelrod team will help you to file your workers’ comp claim, gather the evidence you will need to prove your claim, and represent you before the workers’ compensation commission and in any appeals that are necessary.
How Long Does a Worker’s Compensation Claim Take if You are Approved?
If your workers’ compensation claim is approved, the soonest that you could begin receiving benefits is seven days after you stopped work:
There is a seven-day waiting period before benefits can be paid. If you are out of work for more than seven days, payments will come from your employer’s insurance representative. If you are out of work for more than 14 days, you will receive compensation even for the first seven days. You can expect payments to be made directly to you and these should continue until the doctor releases you to return to work.
If you are out of work for longer than seven days, you will also receive compensation for the first seven days.
What Does the Doctor Say?
Your employer will send you to a doctor who will evaluate your injuries – their opinion will determine the type of benefits you are entitled to and how long they will last, including:
- Whether you are partially disabled and able to work on “light duty;”
- Whether you have suffered a permanent and total disability;
- What type of disability you have suffered and which body part was affected; and
- When you can return to work.
If it is necessary to seek a second opinion, the process will take longer and, at that point, your claim will be contested, which can result in additional negotiations, mediation, informal conferences, hearings, and appeals.
Deadlines for Filing Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
How long your workers’ compensation claim takes to settle can also depend on how long it takes for you to file your claim.
You have 90 days to report your claim to your employer – if you do not, your claim may be denied because you did not meet the deadline. On the other hand, once you report your claim to your employer, your benefits may begin immediately if your employer accepts the claim.
You also have a deadline of two years to file your claim. If your employer denies your claim, you or your attorney must file a Form 50 (or Form 52 when there was a death) with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. Although you have two years, do not delay – consult with your workers’ compensation lawyer immediately.
How Long Does a Workers’ Compensation Claim Take if You are Denied?
Before contesting your employers’ denial of your workers’ compensation claim, your attorney on the Axelrod team will help you to gather the evidence you need to succeed.
For example, if you do not have a medical opinion that supports your position, your claim will be denied. If the doctor chosen by the insurance company has decided that you are not disabled or that your disability is not as severe as you know it is, you may need to seek a second opinion.
If you do not present the evidence persuasively, your claim will be denied. Your workers’ comp attorney will help save you time and frustration by obtaining and presenting your evidence to the Commission, negotiating with the insurance company, and filing any necessary appeals.
How Can I Speed Up the Workers’ Compensation Process?
One thing that you can do to speed up the workers’ compensation process is to get competent advice about your workers’ comp claim as soon as possible.
Talk to your SC workers’ compensation attorney as soon as you know that you have a claim, ensure that you are filling out the forms correctly, and make sure that you are seeking a competent medical opinion that you can rely on with the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Although sometimes appeals are unavoidable and necessary, they can take years to make their way through the courts – it is always best to work your case out without going through a lengthy appeals process.
SC Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Myrtle Beach
Axelrod and Associates will help you to get maximum compensation for all benefits that you are entitled to, and we will help you to get paid as soon as possible. Will your case settle quickly? We hope so, and we will hard to make it happen, but it is also impossible to predict how long the process will take before meeting with our clients and reviewing their case.