Current Status Bill Number:
3837Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 19950322Primary Sponsor: Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee HLCI 26All Sponsors: Labor, Commerce and Industry CommitteeDrafted Document Number: pt\1836jm.95Companion Bill Number: 3561, 729Residing Body: SenateCurrent Committee: Judiciary Committee 11 SJDate of Last Amendment: 19950405Subject: Workers' compensation
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ Senate 19950411 Introduced, read first time, 11 SJ referred to Committee House 19950406 Read third time, sent to Senate House 19950405 Amended, read second time House 19950405 Objection withdrawn by Representative Clyburn House 19950328 Objection by Representative Cato Richardson A. Young Clyburn Davenport L. Whipper Anderson S. Whipper Seithel Huff Rice Mason R. Smith Howard Govan Cave Neal Delleney House 19950322 Introduced, read first timeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
April 5, 1995
S. Printed 4/5/95--H.
Read the first time March 22, 1995.
1. Estimated Cost to State-First Year$-0-
2. Estimated Cost to State-Annually Thereafter$-0-
House Bill 3837, if enacted, would amend Section 41-9-260, as amended, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to notice to the Workers' Compensation Commission when payments of workers' compensation have begun and/or terminated.
Passage of this legislation would allow an employer to start temporary total disability payments immediately to an employee who has been out of work due to a work-related injury or occupational disease for eight days and may continue without waiver of any grounds for denial of a claim as may appear following a good faith investigation. The bill also provides that an employee may request a hearing to have temporary compensation reinstituted after termination. The commission must give this hearing request priority consideration over other hearing requests.
The Workers' Compensation Commission indicates that passage of House Bill 3837 would not have a fiscal impact on the agency.
Prepared By: Approved By:
Cheryl H. Morris George N. Dorn, Jr.
State Budget Analyst Director, Office of State Budget
TO AMEND SECTION 42-9-260, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO NOTICE TO THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION WHEN PAYMENTS OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION HAVE BEGUN AND SUSPENSION OR TERMINATION OF PAYMENTS, SO AS TO DELETE CERTAIN LANGUAGE AND PROVISIONS, PROVIDE THAT WHEN AN EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN OUT OF WORK DUE TO A REPORTED WORK-RELATED INJURY OR OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE FOR EIGHT DAYS, AN EMPLOYER MAY START TEMPORARY TOTAL DISABILITY PAYMENTS IMMEDIATELY AND MAY CONTINUE SUCH PAYMENTS FOR UP TO ONE HUNDRED TWENTY DAYS WITHOUT WAIVER OF ANY GROUNDS FOR DENIAL OF A CLAIM AS MAY APPEAR FOLLOWING A GOOD FAITH INVESTIGATION, PROVIDE FOR THE TERMINATION OR SUSPENSION OF TEMPORARY DISABILITY COMPENSATION, AND PROVIDE FOR RELATED MATTERS.
Amend Title To Conform
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 42-9-260 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 410 of 1988, is further amended to read:
"Section 42-9-260. (A) When an employee has been out of work due to a reported injury by accident arising out of an in the course of employment or occupational disease for eight days, an employer may start temporary total disability payments immediately and may continue such payments for up to one hundred twenty days without waiver of any grounds for denial of a claim as may appear following a good faith investigation. Upon making the first payment, the employer shall immediately notify the commission, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the commission regarding the timely filing of this notice and with a form prescribed by the commission, that payment of compensation has begun.
After one hundred-twenty days from an accident arising out of and in the course of employment or occupational disease, the commission shall provide by rule the method and procedure by which benefits may be suspended or terminated for any cause, but such rule must provide for an evidentiary hearing and commission approval prior to termination or suspension unless such prior hearing is expressly waived in writing by the recipient. Further, the commission may not entertain any application to terminate or suspend benefits unless and until the employer or carrier is current with all payments due.
(B) Once payment of temporary disability compensation has been commenced, it may be terminated or suspended immediately if the employee:
(1) has returned to work;
(2) agrees that he is able to return to work and executes the proper commission form indicating that he is able to return to work. Alternatively to items (1) and (2) of this subsection, once payment of temporary disability compensation has been commenced, it may be terminated or suspended at any time within one hundred twenty days of the date that payments are commenced if a good faith investigation reveals grounds for denial of the claim at any time within the one hundred twenty-day period. An employee may attempt a trial return to work for a period not to exceed three months. During a trial return to work period, temporary total disability compensation shall be suspended; however, the employee shall be paid any temporary partial disability compensation which may be owed. If the trial return to work is unsuccessful, the employee's right to continuing temporary total compensation shall be unimpaired; provided, however, that the trial return to work authorized hereunder may be attempted only once;
(3) has been released by the treating physician to work without restriction compensation may be terminated immediately within the one hundred twenty-day period;
(4) has been released by the treating physician to limited duty work and the employer provides limited duty work consistent with the terms upon which the employee has been released, compensation may be terminated or suspended at any time within the one hundred twenty-day period if the employee refuses to accept the limited duty work provided by the employer or to return to work;
(5) refuses medical treatment under Section 42-15-60 or an examination or evaluation under Section 42-15-80, the employee is not entitled to compensation benefits during the period of the refusal. Upon the submission of documentation of the refusal by the employee of this medical treatment, examination, or evaluation to the commission and notice to the employee, compensation may be terminated within the one hundred twenty-day period.
(C) An employee may request a hearing to have temporary compensation reinstituted after termination. The commission must give this hearing request priority consideration over other hearing requests.
(D) If an employee has been declared as having reached maximum medical improvement within the one hundred twenty-day period, the employer or carrier has the right to a priority hearing to address the termination of temporary disability and the employer or carrier's entitlement to credit or reimbursement for all temporary disability paid for the period after the date of maximum medical improvement.
(E) Failure to comply with such rule as to termination or suspension of benefits must this section shall result in a twenty-five percent penalty imposed upon the carrier or employer computed on the amount of benefits withheld without prior commission approval in violation of this section, and the amount of the penalty must be paid to the employee in addition to the amount of benefits withheld. However, the penalty does not apply if the employer or carrier has terminated or suspended benefits when the employee has returned to any employment at the same or similar wage."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.