Since new and exciting developments in SC Workers’ Compensation law are presently few and far between, below is a mid-year update on some things going on at the SCWCC.
Effective June 15th, the Department of Administration initiated Phase 2 of the re-entry to work program. The primary focus of the phase was for state agencies to open to the public following the recommended CDC guidelines for safe practices. The Commission opened to the public on June 15th. Safety protocols recommended by the CDC and DHEC have been implemented for having members of the public in the office and interacting with employees. The Commission has continuously monitored the production of work by staff since the employees began working from home. The current system is maintaining a sustainable level of work to provide the services to accomplish the Commission’s mission. With the COVID 19 numbers increasing, the Commission decided to maintain the current work from home program and monitor the production levels until further directions are provided by the Department of Administration, DHEC, and the CDC in preparing for Phase 3.
During the month of June, the Judicial Department processed 889 requests for hearings, 148 Motions, and 154 clincher conference requests that were sent to the Jurisdictional Commissioners.
There were 105 Single Commissioner hearings conducted during the past month, 45 pre-hearing conferences held, and 10 Full Commission hearings held. A total of 495 Orders were served at the Single Commissioner level, 39 of those were Decision and Orders that resulted from hearings that went on the record and 161 were Motion Orders that were results of Motions ruled upon by Commissioners.
There were 225 Informal Conferences conducted during the last month.
There were 22 regulatory mediations scheduled and 80 mediations requested. The Judicial Department was notified of 68 matters resolved in mediation with the receipt of Forms 70.
In the month of May, the Judicial Department received one Notice of Intent to Appeal to the Court of Appeals.
In June 2020, the Coverage Division received a total of 1,983 WCC claim files. Of these, 1,718 were created through proper carrier filing of a Form 12A and 265 were generated as a result of a Form 50 claim filing. As of June 30th, 25,138 claim files have been created which is 103% of the claim file volume at this time in 2019.
The Coverage Division collected $19,550.00 in fine revenue in June 2020.
The Compliance Division manages the Rule to Show Cause process involving the recovery of outstanding carrier fines and penalties. In the month of June 2020, 27 carrier RTSC cases were docketed; 27 cases were resolved for a total of $8,579.00. As of June 30, 2020, a total of 165 carrier RTSC cases have been docketed, 163 cases for a total of $70,525.00 have been resolved.
COVID 19 certainly slowed down the work of the Appellate Courts, Circuit Courts, and Commission for at least 4 months. The Appellate and Circuit Courts are slowly getting back to a more productive schedule, but the Commission appears to be back up to full speed at least as far as setting claims for hearings goes.
The attorneys here at YCRLAW will continue to appear for hearings and protect the interests of employers and carriers and to keep you advised as to continuing developments with the SCWCC. As always, please do not hesitate to contact any of us with any questions at any time.