South Carolina Enacts Workers’ Compensation Reforms

John GarnerLegislative Updates, Resources

On June 25, 2007, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford signed workers’ compensation reform legislation into law. The new law:

  • Terminates the Second Injury Fund;
  • Allows insurers and employers to challenge a presumption of total and permanent disability when a worker suffers a 50% or more disability to his or her back;
  • Permits claim adjusters to speak to claimants’ doctors;
  • When physical trauma is absent, it requires workers to prove with a preponderance of evidence that mental injury and stress are caused by their jobs;
  • Eliminates one level of appeal;
  • Requires that repetitive trauma claims be supported by medical evidence;
  • Increases penalties for fraud.

Most provisions of the new laws took effect on 7/1/2007 and apply to all employers in the state.The last date the Second Injury Fund can accept qualifying claims is 7/1/2008, and the Fund will be completely terminated by 7/1/2013.

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