The SC Workers’ Compensation Commission recently made a number of changes to certain Commission Forms that will take effect March 1, 2019. After this date, the updated forms must be used, or the Commission will return the form without processing it.
There are two changes in particular that will likely impact employers and carriers:
- The Form 18 has been updated so that requesting an informal conference and sending a memo to the Commission is no longer available via this form.
- In order to request an informal conference, you may send a letter to the Judicial Department, or simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We are not sure what prompted this change, but it makes sense. The “memo to the Commission” section of the Form 18 seems outdated in the age of email.
- Also, the ability to request an informal conference with a quick email to the Commission will streamline this process and hopefully expedite the time frame for paying PPD and closing files.
- The Form 50 (Claimant’s hearing request) has been updated to allow for electronic service, among other changes.
- If there is an email address associated with your business or its registered agent for service of process, it appears that a claimant’s attorney will be permitted to serve a Form 50 on that email address.
- Your company may already be accustomed to electronic service in other states, but this is new to South Carolina.
- If your company is an insurance carrier or a self-insured employer, your company’s processes and procedures should be updated as necessary to account for electronic service of claimants’ hearing requests, to guarantee that files are timely referred to defense counsel for response to the Form 50 within 30 days, as required under the Act.
- Failure to timely reply to a Form 50 within 30 days results in waiver of legal defenses that could have a significant adverse impact on your ability to defend a claim.
Click here to view the complete Commission notice that includes other changes to forms that are more concerned with lawyers and litigation issues. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns regarding these changes.