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South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission News and Notes

J. Steven Rodenberg

During the month of November, the Judicial Department processed 747 requests for hearings, 111 motions, and 143 clincher conference requests. There were 56 Single Commissioner hearings conducted, 24 pre-hearing conferences held, and 6 Full Commission hearings held. The informal conference system conducted 163 hearings. The Judicial Department was notified of 42 matters resolved in mediation. Judicial received 1 Notice of Intent to Appeal to the Court of Appeals.

The Commission has amended the Advisory Notice posted on May 18, 2020 concerning the protocols for in-person hearings and informal conferences to include the following language:

  • Individuals who previously tested positive for COVID-19 or have potentially been exposed to COVID-19 may attend a hearing in person only after the following criteria have been met:
  • 10 days have passed since the positive result or possible exposure occurred or 7 days have passed since the positive result and a subsequent test with negative result was completed, AND
  • They are free of fever (100.4 or greater) for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines, AND
  • Their other symptoms have improved.
  • Individuals with pending test results should not attend hearings.

For the period February 1 through November 30, 2020, there have been 1,904 COVID-related claims filed with the Commission. 66 were filed during the month of November. 19 fatalities were reported. Of the cases that have been closed, $158,000.00  was paid for medical care and $635,000.00 was paid for non -medical care. The counties reporting the highest number of claims were Greenville, Charleston, and Richland. No claims were denied. Nurses have reported the highest number of cases.

Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season and to a new and improved 2021!