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Employer FAQ's

Do I need a Workers' Compensation Insurance?

As a general rule, businesses that regularly employ four or more employees within South Carolina are required to maintain workers' compensation coverage. Part-time workers and family members are counted as employees. 

Exemptions: Casual employees; businesses employing less than 4 employees or businesses with an annual payroll of less than $3,000.00; agricultural employees; a state and county fair association; railroads and railway express companies; and federal employees. Also exempt are owner-operator drivers and certain commission-paid real estate agents, which meet the specific threshold requirements.

NOTE: A previously exempt employer who voluntarily procures workers' compensation insurance, will be considered subject to the Act until a Form 38 is filed withdrawing that election. Likewise, employers who were subject to the Act  but are now no longer subject to the Act must file a Form 38 with the Commission indicating their intent to withdrawal from the provisions of the Act. 

Are non-profit organizations required to have workers’ compensation insurance? 

The South Carolina Workers' Compensation Act sets forth no specific exemptions for non-profit organizations. For coverage related questions, please contact your insurance professional or legal counsel.

If I’m a general contractor, am I required to have workers’ comp insurance? 

Maybe. A determination of whether a general contractor is required to carry workers' compensation insurance is made on a case-by-case basis. For coverage related questions, please contact your insurance professional or legal counsel.

I’m a subcontractor with less than 4 employees, why is the general contractor requiring me to have coverage? 

Maybe. A determination of whether a subcontractor with less than 4 employees is required to carry workers' compensation insurance is made on a case-by-case basis. For coverage related questions, please contact your insurance professional or legal counsel. 

Who qualifies as an independent contractor? 

Determination of an individual's independent contractor status is fact specific. The factors considered in this analysis are: Direct evidence of the right or exercise of control; furnishing of equipment; method of payment; and the right to fire. 

Does the Commission have an exemption form or certificate? 

The Commission does not certify that employers are not subject to the Act.                   

If I pay my workers via 1099, am I required to have workers’ comp insurance? 

Maybe. The method of payment to workers is not the sole determining factor as to the requirement of an employer to maintain workers’ compensation insurance coverage.  It is possible for an employer to pay workers via 1099 and still be required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance coverageFor coverage related questions, please contact your insurance professional or legal counsel.

Where do I find my employer’s workers’ compensation coverage information? 

An employer’s coverage information (if any) can be found here.  

Click here for common employer name variations (PDF).

How do I purchase workers’ compensation insurance? 

Workers’ compensation insurance coverage can be obtained via a commercial insurance carrier licensed to write workers’ compensation insurance coverage in the state of South Carolina or via the state’s assigned risk program, which is administered by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI).

An employer may also apply to become self insured or participate in a self insurance fund.