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Bill Number: 145 Ratification Number: 339 Act Number 318 Introducing Body: Senate Subject: Workmen's compensation coverage
(A318, R339, S145)
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTIONS 42-15-95 AND 42-5-45, SO AS TO REQUIRE INFORMATION COMPILED BY A TREATMENT FACILITY PERTAINING DIRECTLY TO A WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION CLAIM TO BE MADE AVAILABLE TO SPECIFIED PARTIES AND PROVIDE A PENALTY FOR WILFUL FAILURE OF AN EMPLOYER TO SECURE WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION COVERAGE; TO AMEND SECTIONS 42-15-90, 42-3-190, 42-17-10, 42-5-30, 42-19-10, 42-19-20 AND 42-19-30, ALL RELATING TO ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES UNDER THE WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION LAW, SO AS TO DELETE THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION TO FURNISH FORMS TO EMPLOYERS, REQUIRE COMMISSION APPROVAL OF HOSPITAL CHARGES, PROVIDE FOR ADJUSTMENT OF COMPENSATION AGREEMENTS BASED ON INACCURATE COMPUTATION OF AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGES, REQUIRE INSURANCE CARRIERS TO FILE EVIDENCE OF AN INSURED EMPLOYER'S COMPLIANCE WITH THE WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION LAW, REQUIRE REPORTS OF ALL ACCIDENTS REQUIRING MEDICAL ATTENTION, PROVIDE FOR COMMISSION APPROVAL OF EXTENSION OR TERMINATION REPORT FORMS RATHER THAN THE FURNISHING OF SUCH FORMS BY THE COMMISSION AND INCREASE THE PENALTY FOR FAILURE TO SUBMIT FORMS NECESSARY FOR ADJUDICATION OF CLAIMS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Information to be made available
Section 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 42-15-95. All information compiled by any treatment facility pertaining directly to a workmen's compensation claim shall be made available to the insurance carrier, the employer, the employee, their attorneys or the South Carolina Industrial Commission, upon request."
Section 2. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 42-5-45. Any employer required to secure payment of compensation under this title who wilfully refuses to secure such compensation shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not less than thirty days nor more than six months, or both, in the discretion of the court."
Fees subject to approval of commission
Section 3. Section 42-15-90 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding "or hospital" on line three after "physician". The section when amended shall read:
"Section 42-15-90. Fees for attorneys and physicians and charges of hospitals for services under this title shall be subject to the approval of the commission; but no physician or hospital shall be entitled to collect fees from an employer or insurance carrier until he has made the reports required by the commission in connection with the case.
Any person who receives any fee or other consideration or any gratuity on account of services so rendered, unless such consideration or gratuity is approved by the commission or such court or who makes it a business to solicit employment for a lawyer or for himself in respect of any claim or award for compensation shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall, for each offense, be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment not to exceed one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment."
Commission to prepare forms and literature
Section 4. Section 42-3-190 of the 1976 Code is amended by striking "or employer" on line two. The section when amended shall read:
"Section 42-3-190. The commission shall prepare, cause to be printed and upon request furnish, free of charge to any employee, such blank forms and literature as it shall deem requisite to facilitate or prompt the efficient administration of this title."
Agreement as to compensation
Section 5. Section 42-17-10 of the 1976 Code is amended to
"Section 42-17-10. If more than seven days after the date of an injury or at any time in case of death, the employer and the injured employee or his dependents reach an agreement in regard to compensation under this title, a memorandum of the agreement in the form prescribed by the commission, accompanied by a full and complete medical report shall be filed with the commission within fifteen days after agreement has been reached by the parties for approval of the commission; otherwise, such agreement shall be voidable by the employee or his dependents. All such agreements shall be subject to adjustment and correction as to the compensable rate if subsequent to filing with the commission it is determined that such rate does not reflect the correct average weekly wage of the claimant. If approved by the commission, the memorandum shall for all purposes be enforceable by a court's decree as specified in this title."
Employer to file evidence of compliance
Section 6. Section 42-5-30 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 42-5-30. Every employer accepting the compensation provisions of this title shall file with the commission, in form prescribed by it, annually or as often as may be necessary evidence of his compliance with the provisions of Section 42-5-20 and all others relating thereto. In the event an employer shall insure his liability under this title with an insurance carrier, the insurance carrier shall be required to make the necessary filings."
Employer to keep records of injuries of employees
Section 7. Section 42-19-10 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 42-19-10. Every employer shall keep a record of all injuries, fatal or otherwise, received by any of his employees in the course of their employment on blanks approved by the commission. Within ten days after the occurrence and knowledge thereof, as provided in Section 42-15-20, of an injury to an employee requiring medical or surgical attention, a report thereof shall be made in writing and mailed to the commission on blanks approved by the commission for this purpose.
Such report shall contain the name, nature and location of the business of the employer and the name, age, sex, wages and occupation of the injured employee and shall state the date and hour of the accident causing injury, the nature and cause of the injury and such other information as may be required by the commission."
Employer to make supplementary report
Section 8. Section 42-19-20 of the 1976 Code is amended by striking "to be procured from" beginning on line four and inserting 'approved by". The section when amended shall read:
"Section 42-19-20. Upon the termination of the disability of an injured employee, or if the disability extends beyond a period of sixty days then also at the expiration of such period, the employer shall make a supplementary report to the commission on blanks approved by the commission for this purpose."
Section 9. Section 42-19-30 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 42-19-30. Any employer or insurance carrier who refuses or neglects to submit required forms, records and reports as may be necessary for the proper handling and adjudication of a claim shall be liable for a penalty of not less than ten dollars nor more than fifty dollars for each refusal or neglect. The fine provided in this section may be assessed by the commission in an open hearing with the right of review and appeal as in other cases."
Section 10. This act shall take effect upon approval by the Governor.