WORKERS' COMP OVERVIEW
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This page refers to Appealing to SCWCC law in South Carolina.

Since laws differ between states, if you are located in North Carolina, please click here.

Appealing to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC)

Being injured on-the-job can be a traumatic experience. Having your workers’ comp claim denied adds a level of stress, inconvenience, and hardship to an already difficult time.

If your claim has been denied, you may miss out on the following workers’ compensation benefits:

  • medical costs related to treating and diagnosing your workplace injury
  • workers’ comp disability benefit payments – calculated as two-thirds of your average weekly wages in South Carolina – for missed work
  • a lump sum payment for any permanent disability stemming from your workplace injuries

If you feel your workers’ comp claim was unjustly denied by the business or its insurer, you can file a Request for Hearing with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC).

What Is the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission?

The SCWCC is comprised of seven commissions appointed by the Governor & serve 6 year terms

The SCWCC is the organization that administers the workers’ compensation system in South Carolina. All on-the-job injury claims must be filed with this organization, and appeals for all denied claims start here as well.

The SCWCC is comprised of seven commissioners appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. Each commissioner serves a term of six years.

The SCWCC conducts hearings to resolve disputes between employees and employers. If your employer does not report the job-related accident where your injury occurred, denies that your injury occurred or was job-related, or if you believe that you did not receive all due workers’ compensation benefits, you can request a hearing with the SCWCC.

Tip: When there is a pending Request for Hearing before the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, depositions are usually taken.

How Do I Dispute the Insurance Company’s Denial of My Worker’s Comp Claim?

The SCWCC administers South Carolina’s workers’ compensation system and initially conducts hearings with a single commissioner to rule on disputes between injured workers and employers and their insurance carriers. There are several levels of appeals, and it is important to your case that you are prepared and informed at each step. An experienced attorney can help guide you, help you assess the decisions at each level, and advise you on next steps.

Single Commissioner Hearing

If you have unresolved issues, you may request a hearing before a single workers’ compensation commissioner. An employee may request a hearing if the employer does not report the accident, denies the injury was job-related, or if the employee believes that he or she did not get all due benefits. To request a hearing, you must complete Form 50.

If the commissioner rules against you in the single commissioner hearing, you can request further review. Usually, this will be a three-member panel, but for unique issues of law or fact, it may involve a six-member panel.

How to File an Appeal to the Full Commission of the SCWCC

To file an appeal, you must submit a hearing request to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, along with the filing fee of $25, via Form 30 (Request for Commission Review) within 14 days of receipt of the decision, or “order,” of the single commissioner hearing.

Appeals to the South Carolina Court of Appeals and the South Carolina Supreme Court

If you are dissatisfied with the rulings of the three-member panel or full commission hearings, you can appeal by filing within 30 days of the award with the South Carolina Court of Appeals, also called the Circuit Court of Appeals.

Decisions of the SC Court of Appeals may be appealed to the South Carolina Supreme Court. There is no appeal beyond the state Supreme Court.

These courts will typically only entertain appeals related to an error of law and/or improper conclusion of law.

Each step of the appeals process requires thorough documentation and an understanding of the process and timing requirements. While you are not required to hire an attorney to represent you during your appeal, you may have a better chance of a positive outcome or a higher settlement with the guidance of an experienced workers’ comp lawyer.

Why Did My South Carolina Workers’ Comp Claim Get Denied?

There are many different reasons why an employer’s insurance company may deny your workers’ comp claim. Below are a few of the more common reasons. Remember, some insurance companies may be looking for a reason to deny or reduce your benefits in order to keep expenses low.

  • Missed deadlines
    Failing to notify your employer within 90 days of your injury
  • Seriousness of injury
    Belief that your injury is not severe enough to take time from work
  • Errors on claim form
    Information omissions or mistakes on any forms
  • Injury not related to work
    Claims that your injury was not work-related
  • Misclassification of employee
    Incorrectly classifying you as an independent contractor
  • Employee misconduct
    Claims that you were drunk or purposefully broke a workplace rule when injured
  • Pre-existing conditions
    Belief that your condition was not made worse through work
  • Failure to follow medical treatment
    Assumption that you ignored the doctor’s advice and orders

Unfortunately, workers’ comp claims are often denied. Insurance companies or employers may try to minimize or avoid potential liability. But that doesn’t mean that the denial was the correct decision, and it also isn’t necessarily the final decision. You can appeal the denial and you can seek the assistance of an experienced workers’ comp lawyer to help you through the appeals process and be sure that you know all the facts you need about workers’ comp in South Carolina.

Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Workers’ compensation law is complicated. Special rules and laws govern different kinds of workplace injuries and illnesses. Denials are common, and it can be hard to know when it makes sense to keep fighting. Don’t suffer alone – focus your efforts with the help of an attorney.

Give the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin a call at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your workers’ compensation case. Our workman’s comp legal team is ready to serve, and can help guide you through your workers’ compensation appeal, communicate with the SCWCC for you, give you all the information you need to make decisions, and fight for the benefits that you may be entitled to. Contact us today. Tell them you mean business.

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