When you are injured on the job, South Carolina law allows you to recover workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. These benefits pay for your necessary medical expenses and, in some cases, compensate you for time missed from work.
Unfortunately, there are many reasons workers’ compensation claims are denied. If your request for workers’ compensation benefits is denied in South Carolina, it is important to understand your right to appeal and the steps to take in the appeals process. To navigate the complicated appeals process, contact the experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at the offices of Land, Parker & Welch, P.A. for your free consultation today.
Requesting a Hearing
When you are dealing with a denied workers’ compensation claim, filing a request for a hearing is the first step in the appeals process. A hearing is the formal process of resolving disputes between you, your employer, and your employer’s representative when your claim for workers’ compensation benefits is denied.
The Workers’ Compensation Commission of South Carolina (WCC) explains that there are two ways to apply for a hearing:
- You may contact the commissioner’s judicial department directly and request a form.
- You can obtain the form on the WCC’s website.
Appealing to the Full Commission
During your hearing, a single workers’ compensation commissioner will hear your case and issue a determination about whether you should be approved for benefits. In the event that your claim for workers’ compensation benefits is denied at that point, you may appeal the single commissioner’s decision to the full commission.
In order to appeal a commissioner’s decision, you must file a request for commission review. It is important to note that this form must be filed within 14 days after you receive the commissioner’s decision. Further, remember that you must pay the filing fee that is associated with your request, which is $150. In some instances, this filing fee may be waived.
What If the Commission Denies My Claim for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
In the event that your claim for workers’ compensation benefits is again denied, you can appeal the decision through the court system. You must file a lawsuit within 30 days of receiving notice of the decision from the full commission. The suit must be filed with the South Carolina Court of Appeals. If this appeal is unsuccessful, you may file an appeal with the South Carolina Supreme Court.
The Benefits of Working with an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
The appeals process can be very confusing, and an error during the process ─ such as failing to obtain the correct medical information or failing to file the request for a hearing or appeal in time ─ could be catastrophic.
To ensure that all the steps are followed properly and that your claim is not thrown out due to mistakes on paperwork, you should work with one of our experienced attorneys. A consultation with our South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers is free, so call or fill out our online form today to get started.